Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip; earnings in focus

miércoles 19 de febrero de 2014 03:34 GYT

PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to dip in early trade on Wednesday as investors combed through a raft of company results, seeking clues on the outlook for corporate profits and on the potential damage caused by sharp currency swings in emerging markets.

The auto sector will be in focus after French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen unveiled a 3 billion euro ($4.1 billion) capital tie-up with China's Dongfeng and said the cash injection would buy time for a recovery after losing another 2.32 billion in 2013.

At 0725 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to 0.2 percent lower.

Lafarge, one of world's biggest cement makers which derives 58 percent of its sales from emerging markets, said sales and profit took a hit from volatile currencies in the fourth quarter, although it stuck to its cost savings and debt reduction targets, betting on continued growth in emerging markets and a recovery in North America and Europe.

Brewer Carlsberg said operating profit rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter as improved margins in Western Europe and continued Asian growth offset sluggish sales in Eastern Europe.

In the banking sector, France's Credit Agricole said it will propose paying a dividend for the first time since 2010 as it swung to a profit and exceeded its own targets to strengthen its balance sheet.

European shares have been supported by relatively good corporate results in the current earnings season, with 58 percent of companies reporting in-line or better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks in hesitant mood; euro holds gains > S&P 500 ticks up on M&A; Nasdaq extends winning streak > Nikkei slips on profit-taking, yen hurts exporters > FOREX-Euro hits 7-week high, dollar hampered by soft U.S. data > Gold eases from 3-1/2 month highs, but economy woes lend support > METALS-London copper slips, China tightening worries weigh > Brent holds above $110, WTI near 4-month top on winter boost   Continuación...