European Factors to Watch-Shares seen flat to higher, focus on earnings

martes 21 de julio de 2015 02:41 GYT

(Updates futures prices, adds company news)

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a flat to slightly higher open on Tuesday, with investors focusing on company results as the second-quarter earnings season gathered pace in Europe.

German business software maker SAP's revenues topped expectations due to a surge in cloud software delivered via the Internet, while Europe's biggest biotech company, Actelion, lifted its core earnings forecast for the year.

Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, Britain's FTSE and France's CAC traded between flat and 0.2 percent higher by 0639 GMT.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,613.95 points in the previous session. But gold stocks were hit by a sharp drop in prices of the precious metal.

U.S. stocks ended 0.1 to 0.2 percent higher on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite recording its third straight record close. In Japan, the Nikkei index rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday.

Investors will keep a close eye on commodity shares as oil prices fell on Tuesday, dragged down by a firm dollar and ample supply of both crude and refined products. Gold prices stabilised just above a five-year low.

The market's attention has shifted from Greece to company earnings. Greece reopened its banks and ordered billions of euros owed to international creditors to be repaid on Monday in the first signs of a return to normal after last week's deal to agree a tough new package of bailout reforms.