European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, focus on earnings
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LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - European equities headed for a lower start on Friday, tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia, with investors focusing on company results for hints about the market's direction in the near term.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were 0.6 to 1.1 percent lower.
On the earnings front, BASF, the world's largest chemical company by sales, reported an 8 percent decline in quarterly underlying operating profit. However, the decline was smaller than feared.
AstraZeneca's underlying earnings fell 12 percent in the first quarter, broadly in line with analyst expectations, hit by drug patent expiries.
In the United States, U.S. stocks closed down on Thursday as the Bank of Japan's shocking call to cap monetary stimulus continued to rattle investors, while a late day decline in Apple shares on remarks by billionaire investor Carl Icahn added to selling pressure.
However, Amazon sweetened the mood a little after the close by blowing away earnings expectations for its first quarter, sending the stock up almost 13 percent.
Asia shares were under pressure, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan falling 0.4 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a three-month high last week, closed 0.2 percent higher. Continuación...