European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower after weak China data
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling on Friday, tracking declines in Asian and U.S. stocks as disappointing data from China and weak earnings reports on Wall Street raised investor concern about the strength of global growth. Commodity-related stocks were set to be in focus after a preliminary private survey showed that China, the world's world's biggest consumer of metals, saw its factory sector contract by the most in 15 months in July. The reading was worse-than-expected, as shrinking orders depressed output. "The talk among traders once again has been around moves in commodities and what that is saying about global growth," Chris Weston, market analyst at IG, said in a note. "Copper is painting a fairly bleak picture... (and the China data) will only add to the concerns." Copper hit a six-year low after the data, while gold hit a 5-1/2 year low after strong U.S. jobs data, suggesting a U.S. Federal Reserve rate rise may be on the cards sooner rather than later. Despite the strong U.S. data, stocks on Wall Street were lower following a spate of weak earnings reports from the likes of American Express and Caterpillar, with recent dollar strength and a sluggish global economy souring the outlook for corporate profits. Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were 0.1-0.4 percent lower at 0629 GMT. European equities slipped to a one-week low on Thursday, hit by disappointing updates from Aberdeen Asset Management and British energy supplier SSE. In a busy day for corporate updates on Friday, BASF, the world's largest chemicals firm by sales, slightly missed expectations with a 2 percent rise in operating profit, with profits of French food group Danone also falling short of expectations British mobile firm Vodafone reported an acceleration in its main quarterly sales growth as a cable TV acquisition in its biggest market Germany lifted revenue. COMPANY NEWS BASF Indicated 1.1 percent lower BASF posted a 2 percent higher operating profit for the second quarter as demand for specialty plastics for the automotive and construction industry outweighed lower oil and gas earnings. EDENRED The French voucher and prepaid card provider said it expected higher full-year operating profit despite a more challenging economic climate in its key market of Brazil as growth in its European business would further accelerate. DANONE The yoghurt maker is pulling the plug on efforts to revive its flagship Dumex infant formula unit in China on its own, swapping a business ravaged by food scares for a bigger stake in a domestic dairy giant as competition heats up in the world's biggest market for formula milk. THALES The French defence group said its first-half operating profit rose by a wider-than-expected 18 percent to 473 million euros, buoyed in part by a tighter grip on costs in its defence and security business. VODAFONE Vodafone reported an acceleration in its main quarterly sales growth on Friday as a cable TV acquisition in its biggest market Germany lifted sales and consolidated the overall return to growth for the British firm. BMW The carmaker is planning to create space for 15,000 additional jobs on the company's premises in Munich, Markus Baumgartner, head of project "FIZ Future" at BMW told German business daily Handelsblatt. RWE Germany's second-largest utility said it placed a $500 million hybrid bond. GLAXOSMITHKLINE The world's first malaria vaccine got a green light on Friday from European drugs regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in babies in Africa at risk of the mosquito-borne disease. The shot, developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria in countries that use it. LONMIN The platinum producer is set to cut more than 5,000 jobs as a result of a slump in platinum prices, Sky News reported on Thursday. DIAGEO The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating if liquor company Diageo has been shipping excess inventory to distributors to boost its results, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the inquiry. BAYWA The company said it sold a U.S. wind park project to NorthWestern Energy for $143 million. TF1 The French broadcaster said its second-quarter operating profit rose almost fourfold as a reduction in programme costs helped offset broadly flat advertising revenue. ANGLO AMERICAN - The global mining company said it would maintain its interim dividend on Friday as it posted a steep fall in first-half profit hurt by a rout in metal prices. PEARSON - Pearson, the British group selling the Financial Times in a $1.3 billion deal, increased its dividend and confirmed guidance on Friday after first-half operating profit dipped, partly on the timing of textbook adoption in the United States. INTESA SANPAOLO Italy's biggest retail bank is looking to sell its Accedo consumer credit unit by the end of 2015 as part of a multi-year plan to shed non-core assets, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday. GENERALI Generali's investment in Spain's Banco Credito Cooperativo could pave the way to a stock market listing valuing the Spanish bank at around 1 billion euros, a source close to the matter said. ENI Eni is said to be weighing the sale of Nigeria assets that could be worth $2-5 billion, though no decision has as yet been taken, Bloomberg said on Thursday citing sources. STMICROELECTRONICS The Franco-Italian chipmaker's shares rose on Thursday after it said it expected modest growth in communications, industrial and automotive markets in H2 2015, reassuring investors spooked by recent warnings from U.S. chipmakers Texas Instruments Inc and Linear Technology Corp. SNAM Fitch assigned a long-term 'BBB+' rating to Snam on Thursday, with a stable outlook. A2A The regional utility said on Thursday it had received a 15-year 200 million euro loan from European Investment Bank to fund power and gas network investments and public lighting. NEXITY The French homebuilder raised its 2015 financial targets in light of a recovering new house market as it posted stronger-than-expected revenue. DASSAULT AVIATION The maker of Rafale warplanes and Falcon business jets posted a 34 percent increase in first-half operating income to 144 million euros. AB SCIENCE The French drug company said its masitinib multiple sclerosis treatment had passed a non-futility test and an independent safety committee had recommended phase 3 study to be continued. SIKA Sika said sales rose year on year by 5.6 percent at constant exchange rates to 2.625 billion Swiss francs. In line with Strategy 2018, Sika expects sales growth of 6-8 percent at constant exchange rates, but said the unknown outcome of Saint-Gobain's hostile takeover bid means this forecast is uncertain. EUSKALTEL Euskaltel said late on Thursday it had agreed an offer for fellow cable company R Cable, giving it an enterprise value of 1.2 billion euros in the latest wave of consolidation in the Spanish telecommunications market. ABENGOA Spanish energy company Abengoa said on Thursday it would act to prevent speculative trading on its debt and reducing the cost of the debt was a priority after a day of losses for its bonds, credit default swaps and stock. MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0700 FR Markit PMI 0730 DE Markit PMI 0800 EZ Markit PMI 0800 IT Wage Inflation 1345 US Markit PMI 1400 US New Home sales 1430 US ECRI ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0511 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,102.15 -0.57 % -12 NIKKEI 20557.14 -0.61 % -126.81 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 455.16 -0.83 % -3.83 EUR/USD 1.097 -0.1 % -0.0011 USD/JPY 123.89 0 % 0.0000 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.270 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.744 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,083.40 -0.64 % -$7.00 US CRUDE $48.67 0.45 % 0.22 > Asian shares tumble as weak China PMI revives demand concerns > US STOCKS-Wall St falls for 3rd day as earnings fall short > Nikkei falls on weaker U.S. shares > TREASURIES-Long yields fall to 2-week low on poor U.S. earnings > FOREX-Euro buoyant, Aussie hits 6-year low > PRECIOUS-Gold sags to 5-1/2-year low, heads for worst week since Oct > METALS-London copper hits six-year low after Chinese factory survey > Oil prices climb, but stay in bear market territory (Reporting by Alistair Smout)
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