European Factors to Watch-Shares head for steady open

viernes 15 de abril de 2016 02:38 GYT

(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report)

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - European equities headed for a steady open on Friday, with investors seen avoiding strong bets ahead of a weekend meeting of oil producers, although a major stock index stayed on track to post its best weekly gains since the middle of February.

Crude oil prices were little changed before the meeting, lead by top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia, in Qatar on Sunday to discuss freezing output around current levels in an effort to contain a global supply glut that sees some 2 million barrels of crude produced every day in excess of demand.

Miners will be in focus as copper prices, although steady on Friday, were set for their biggest weekly rise in six weeks on signs that growth in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, could be stabilising after first quarter growth hit forecasts and other indicators surprised to the upside.

China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, meeting expectations and providing additional evidence that a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy may be bottoming out.

Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were flat to 0.2 percent lower in early trading.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which ended 0.3 percent higher in the previous session, has gained nearly 4 percent so far this week after losses in the previous four weeks in a row. This week's closing is likely to be its best weekly performance since mid-February.

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