European Factors to Watch-Shares set for mixed open; miners in focus

miércoles 26 de febrero de 2014 03:38 GYT

LONDON Feb 26 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to edge lower on Wednesday, with the basic materials sector likely to be in focus as concerns over China weighed on metals prices although earnings could potentially provide some support.

Miners could extend a slide from the previous session after China's yuan weakened below the daily fixing for a second consecutive day on Wednesday.

Shanghai copper fell as much as 1 percent to a six-and-a-half-month low and Chinese steel and iron ore futures dropped for a sixth day in a row on concerns about credit availability and subsequent demand from users in the country, the world's biggest consumer of metals.

The mining sector in Europe posted its worst day in three weeks on Tuesday, pegging back European shares, with traders saying the China-related falls had further to go.

"(There are) nagging concerns that Chinese banks might be starting to pull back lending to the property sector, where there are a significant worries about frothiness," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

At 0727 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were flat to 0.3 percent lower.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 had gained 6.4 percent in three weeks, lead up in part by a near 12 percent rally in the European basic resources sector, before steadying on Tuesday.

A decent earnings season has also supported gains since lows made in early February, with 59 percent of the STOXX Europe 600 that have reported results so far beating or meeting expectations.

Global equity markets were roiled in January over concerns about emerging market economies, but Anheuser-Busch Inbev were the latest company to reassure the market over the region.   Continuación...