European Factors to Watch-Shares seen opening lower, with earnings in focus
(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 20 (Reuters) - European shares were set to retreat from their three-month highs on Wednesday, mirroring losses in Asia, with a fall in crude oil and metals prices seen putting pressure on commodities-related stocks.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down 0.3 to 0.5 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 1.5 percent higher after climbing to a three-month high, helped by encouraging trading updates from some companies and a rally in commodities prices.
However, crude oil prices fell on Wednesday after Kuwaiti oil workers ended a three-day strike that had cut the nation's crude output by around half, with worries about an oversupplied market returning to the fore. Metals prices also came under pressure.
Technology companies will remain in focus after Europe's largest software company SAP said its first-quarter profit after tax rose 9 percent to 763 million euros ($867 million) and reiterated its full-year outlook, citing a strong order pipeline across its portfolio.
ASML Holding, a key supplier to major computer chip makers, reported first quarter earnings ahead of expectations, and said it expects a strong second quarter.
In the United States, however, Intel Corp said late on Tuesday it would cut up to 12,000 jobs globally, or 11 percent of its workforce, as it refocuses its business towards making microchips that power data centers and Internet connected devices and away from the declining personal computer industry it helped found. Its shares fell more than 2 percent in extended trading.