Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steadying near 2-week highs
LONDON Feb 17 (Reuters) - European equity index futures edged higher on Monday, which traders attributed to the region's markets tracking gains overnight in Asia, while a key regional equity index was set to steady near 2-week highs.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract was up by 0.2 percent at 0725 GMT, Germany's DAX futures also rose 0.2 percent while France's CAC futures edged up by 0.1 percent.
"It's just a follow-on from Asia and from the tail-end of last week. The markets are looking firm up here," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at London-based Central Markets Investment Management.
Italian shares will be in focus as centre-left leader Matteo Renzi was poised to become the country's new prime minister.
Milan's FTSE MIB equity index rose 1.6 percent on Friday as investors welcomed the likelihood of Renzi's appointment, and credit rating agency Moody's lifted its outlook on Italy on Friday to "stable" from "negative".
Friday's gains in Milan helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index to close up 0.5 percent at 1,332.30 points, marking its highest level in around two weeks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 has managed to recover from declines at the start of the year related to concerns over a slump in emerging markets economies, and is now up by 1.2 percent year-to-date.
Data on Monday showed that Japan's economy grew at a much slower pace than expected at the end of last year, but the country's Nikkei stock market still edged higher. Continuación...