European Factors to Watch-Futures climb, earnings upbeat
By Lionel Laurent
LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Stock markets were set to open higher on Thursday, with a raft of positive earnings updates adding to positive global sentiment after the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement pointed to improving labour-market conditions without clearly signalling plans for a rate rise.
EuroSTOXX 50 futures were up 0.7 percent at 0619 GMT, with Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE futures all trading up 0.4 to 0.6 percent.
While the big focus for global markets was the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement that left the door open for a possible interest-rate increase in September, Europe's earnings season also continued apace with forecast-beating results from Germany's Siemens and network gear maker Nokia and a sharp jump in profits from France's Renault.
However, worries over China's growth prospects and an emerging-markets slowdown lingered as Anheuser-Busch InBev suffered from weak economic conditions in markets including Brazil and China.
Europe's earnings season is about one-third of the way through and the net proportion of companies beating expectations is at a five-year high, according to strategists, with signs of a domestic pick-up in the euro zone consistent with improving data on economic growth and household spending.
Commodities companies are a weak spot: French oil-services company Technip swung to a net loss in the second quarter after announcing job-cut plans in the face of a plunge in oil prices that has forced customers to slash spending.
More data points are due on Thursday, including German unemployment and inflation data for July.
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