European Factors to Watch-Shares seen up, focus on central bankers

viernes 22 de mayo de 2015 02:56 GYT

(Updates futures prices, adds company news)

By Atul Prakash

LONDON May 22 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a slightly higher open on Friday, mirroring gains on Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed at a record high, with investors seen focusing on speeches from central bankers for hints about near-term market direction.

At 0633 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50 index Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were flat to 0.1 percent higher.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, along with other central bankers, will be addressing an ECB Forum in Portugal later in the day.

Focus will also fall on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak on the U.S. economic outlook before the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce late on Friday.

"Previously it looked as though the BoE and the Fed may diverge from the ECB, but growth in the U.S. and the UK hasn't picked up any momentum, so bulls will be on the hunt for some dovish comments to kick-start another leg higher," Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria said in a note.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index headed for a fifth straight day of gains after closing 0.4 percent higher at 1619.85 points on Thursday. The index, up nearly 3 percent so far this week, headed for its best weekly gains in more than a month.

Investors will keep a close eye on company updates. Cartier owner Richemont on Friday posted an 8 percent drop in April sales at constant exchange rates as well as a lower net profit and said trading continued to remain difficult in its big markets of Hong Kong and Macau.   Continuación...