European Factors to Watch-Shares set for biggest weekly drop in 6 weeks
LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen opening steady on Friday, although a top share index was set for its biggest weekly loss in six weeks following moves by China to let its currency weaken. After devaluing the yuan earlier in the week, China's central bank said on Thursday there was no reason for the currency to fall further given the country's strong economic fundamentals, helping to restore calm to jittery global markets. Those reassurances helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 end up 0.9 percent on Thursday. However, it remains down 2.8 percent for the week, its biggest weekly fall since the end of June, after the initial moves by China to allow the yuan to weaken hit mining, auto and luxury stocks. Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, France's CAC and Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were all flat to 0.1 percent higher. Oil and gas firms could be in focus after U.S. crude oil prices fell below $42 a barrel to prices not seen since March 2009. "The big falls in WTI... which saw it fall a further 2.5 percent to its lowest level since 2009, have created strong headwinds for energy stocks today," Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, said in a note. In company news a U.S. judge found that oil major BP Plc manipulated the natural gas market in 2008, as alleged by the U.S. energy regulator. Euro zone GDP and inflation releases highlight a busy day for economic data, with euro zone stock index futures turning slightly higher after German economic growth accelerated in the second quarter of 2015, albeit by less than expected. COMPANY NEWS SWISS LIFE Switzerland's biggest listed life insurance company was able to eke out a small gain in first-half net profit despite the strong Swiss franc thanks to solid fee and commission income, it said. HSBC HOLDINGS, BARCLAYS - Investors have recovered more than $2 billion in settlements with nine banks over claims of price-rigging in the foreign exchange market, and are continuing to pursue claims against seven other banks, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said Thursday. [ID;nL1N10O37N] BP - A U.S. judge on Thursday found that BP manipulated the natural gas market in 2008, as alleged by the U.S. energy regulator, but did not address a proposed $28 million fine or any other penalties. RIO TINTO - China's Shenhua Group SHGRP.UL is among six parties assessing bids for Rio Tinto's $4 billion thermal coal business, the Australian Financial Review reported on Friday. GLAXOSMITHKLINE - GlaxoSmithKline is banking on a major clinical trial to revive its flagging respiratory medicine business, with billions of dollars of sales riding on a positive result. ROYAL IMTECH The Dutch engineering services company has been declared bankrupt and its Marine and Nordic divisions are being sold to private investors, the company and its administrators said on Thursday. ENGIE Belgium's Tihange 3 nuclear reactor will be restarted overnight between Friday and Saturday, after it was halted early on Thursday because of a technical issue, said its operator Electrabel, part of France's Engie. VOLKSWAGEN PORSCHE Prosecutors have dropped a market manipulation probe against members of the supervisory board of sportscar maker Porsche AG, including Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said citing people close to the case. Porsche declined comment. Porsche AG is now owned by Volkswagen AG. DEUTSCHE EUROSHOP Still expects sales of between 201 million euros and 204 million euros, with EBIT between 177 million euros and 180 million euros for FY 2015. Aims to pay dividend of at least 1.35 euros per share for FY 2015. SCHINDLER HOLDING AG The world's second-biggest maker of elevators said first-half net profit rose 6.5 percent. It expected 2015 revenue to grow by 6 to 8 percent in local currencies and that net profit will total 700 mln to 750 mln francs MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0530 FR GDP Preliminary 0600 DE GDP Flash 0645 FR Non-Farm Payrolls 0800 IT GDP Preliminary 0830 GB Construction 0900 EZ GDP, Inflation 1230 CA Manufacturing Sales 1230 US PPI 1315 US Industrial, Manufacturing Output 1400 US University of Michigan Sentiment 1430 US ECRI Weekly ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0513 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,083.39 -0.13 % -2.66 NIKKEI 20545.42 -0.24 % -50.13 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 431.29 -0.09 % -0.39 EUR/USD 1.1156 0.07 % 0.0008 USD/JPY 124.40 -0.01 % -0.0100 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.171 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 0.637 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,112.65 -0.18 % -$2.00 US CRUDE $42.01 -0.52 % -0.22 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares to end week lower; crude oil slumps > US STOCKS-Wall St ends flat as energy shares drop with oil > Nikkei dips on profit taking, weak yuan fears ebb for now > TREASURIES-U.S. bonds droop on yuan assurances, Fed prospects > FOREX-Dollar ticks up as China stops guiding yuan lower > PRECIOUS-Gold slips as yuan firms, to snap 7-wk losing run > METALS-Copper falls amid China yuan worries > U.S. crude oil dips on high U.S. stocks, Asia economy worries (Reporting by Alistair Smout)
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