European Factors to Watch-Flat start eyed as sales updates disappoint

martes 15 de abril de 2014 02:34 GYT

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen opening steady on Tuesday as the threat of costly sanctions against Russia and disappointing sales updates from bellwether companies such as cosmetics group L'Oreal and food company Nestle capped appetite for shares.

At 0630 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were between 0.1 percent lower and 0.1 percent higher.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday and Japanese shares bounced from six-month lows overnight after strong U.S. retail sales data helped calm nerves despite a resurgence of tensions in Ukraine.

European foreign ministers agreed to step up sanctions, and U.S. officials have said they were in consultations with European partners on how to punish Moscow for what Kiev and its Western allies call a Russian plot to dismember Ukraine.

"If there is any sort of announcement that there are going to be further curbs from the West, we'd expect the market to drop off again," Stuart McDonald, a sales trader at IG, said.

Corporate updates were also downbeat.

French cosmetics group L'Oreal and foods giant Nestle's both undershot market expectations with their first-quarter sales but pledged they would return to top-line growth in the coming quarters.

Adverse currency moves weighed on first-quarter sales at Roche Holding AG , which came in slightly below the average analyst forecast despite a healthy uptake of its new cancer medicines.

Shares in L'Oreal rose nearly 10 percent in the past month, leaving room for some profit-taking after the disappointing update. Analysts at Barclays, however, recommended sticking with the stock and bet on better numbers in the month to come.   Continuación...