European Factors to Watch-Equity futures edge higher; focus on Greek vote
LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - European shares were seen opening higher on Wednesday as upbeat economic data from China, the world's second-biggest economy, encouraged some investors, with many also focusing on a Greek parliamentary vote on austerity measures later in the day. Uncertainty surrounding the debt crisis in Greece heightened after a study by the International Monetary Fund found the country needs far more debt relief than European governments have been willing to contemplate so far. The IMF's stark warning came as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggled to persuade deeply unhappy leftist lawmakers to vote for a package of austerity measures and liberal economic reforms to secure a new bailout. In an interview with state television, Tsipras said that although he did not believe in the deal, there was no alternative but to accept it to avoid economic chaos. "The IMF has punched a hole in Greek debt agreement over the issue of debt sustainability but signs of an economic turnaround in China from the latest batch of data released overnight are setting European stocks up for a higher open on Wednesday," Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note. China's economy grew an annual 7.0 percent in the second quarter, steady with the previous quarter and slightly better than analyst forecasts, though further stimulus is still expected after the quarter ended with a stock market crash. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were flat to 0.2 percent higher ahead of the cash market open. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose for a fifth day in a row on Tuesday, closing up 0.5 percent at 1,580.34 points on investors' belief that Greece will pass reforms in order to get a new bailout and as oil prices steadied, supporting energy shares. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.5 percent. The FTSEurofirst is up around 15 percent since the start of 2015 while the Euro STOXX 50 is up 14 percent, with economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) having helped to support markets despite the worries over Greece. COMPANY NEWS: BHP BILLITON BHP Billiton on Wednesday said it will take a $2 billion impairment on its U.S. shale operations - the third writedown in three years. IAG /AER LINGUS IAG has gained European Union antitrust approval for its 1.3-billion-euro ($1.4 billion) bid for Irish carrier Aer Lingus after agreeing to make concessions to ease competition worries, the EU Commission said on Tuesday. ASML HOLDING Europe's largest supplier to computer chip makers posted second-quarter net income of 370 million euros on sales of 1.654 billion and forecast net sales of 1.5 to 1.6 billion in the third quarter. DEUTSCHE BANK Deutsche Postbank's supervisory board on Tuesday elected Stefan Krause as new chairman. SIEMENS The Israel Securities Authority said on Tuesday it had evidence that Siemens paid about $20 million in bribes to officials at state-owned Israel Electric Corp (IEC)from 2000 to 2005. Siemens said on Tuesday it is cooperating with the authorities and declined comment. TALANX Japan's Meiji Yasuda Life sold shares in the insurer worth 110 million euros via an accelerated bookbuilding with Citi. HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN The printing press maker said on Tuesday it picked Dirk Kaliebe as interium deputy CEO because the recovery of CEO Gerold Linzbach is delayed. ENBW A German regional court will reopen a probe of allegedly excessive water prices charged by Energie Calw, a service provider partly owned by the utility, the Federal Court of Justice said on Tuesday. ROCKET INTERNET The e-commerce investor said on Tuesday it successfully placed 550 million euros worth of convertible bonds. HELLA Said full year adjusted EBIT increased 11.5 percent to about 445 million euros and sales grew to 5.83 billion euros. LAFARGEHOLCIM The newly merged cement company said it would focus on delivering its target for 1.4 billion euros of synergies within three years, as well as an overall reduction of capital spending. INDITEX Apparel maker Guess Inc said on Tuesday that Victor Herrero would replace co-founder Paul Marciano as chief executive in August. Herrero joins Guess after a stint as head of Asia Pacific for Inditex. MEGGITT The Daily Mail newspaper's stock market report cited revived gossip that United Technologies or Honeywell could be eyeing a bid for aircrafts parts manufacturer Meggitt. The Daily Mail had already reported about bid speculation surrounding Meggitt in July 2014. SYNGENTA Hedge fund Paulson & Co has taken a stake in Syngenta and could push for the board of directors of the Swiss pesticide maker to accept a takeover offer from U.S. seed company Monsanto Co, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. LAFARGEHOLCIM LafargeHolcim, the company formed by the recent merger between Holcim and Lafarge, confirmed plans to deliver cost savings of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) within three years. OERLIKON Oerlikon said it had taken note of speculation regarding a potential transaction related to Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum. The company is examining strategic options regarding its Vacuum Segment but it is too early to make any statement regarding specific directions or decisions, it said. METALL ZUG The company posted net income of slightly above 10 million Swiss francs ($10.58 million) in the first half of 2015, down from 31.9 million francs in the same period last year. MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0645 FR CPI 0830 GB Unemployment, Earnings 0900 CH ZEW Investor Sentiment 1100 US Mortgage 1230 US PPI 1315 US Industrial Output ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0535 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,108.95 0.45 % 9.35 NIKKEI 20459.74 0.37 % 74.41 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 460.94 -0.1 % -0.48 EUR/USD 1.0992 -0.15 % -0.0017 USD/JPY 123.42 0.06 % 0.0700 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.403 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.840 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,154.3 -0.06 % -$0.73 0 US CRUDE $53.22 0.34 % 0.18 > Asian shares pare gains as China markets slump > Wall St notches fourth straight advance as energy gains > Nikkei gains on relief over China and Greece, China data helps > TREASURIES-Yields drop on weak retail sales data > Dollar steady before Yellen talk, China data has little impact > Gold marks time ahead of testimony from Fed's Yellen > London copper climbs after China growth beats forecasts > Iran's oil comeback may be later than sooner (Reporting by Liisa Tuhkanen; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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