Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch up in thin volumes
PARIS, May 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch higher on Monday in thin volumes as UK markets were closed for a holiday, with gains set to be capped following soft Chinese manufacturing data. At 0613 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to up 0.2 percent. The final reading of China's HSBC/Markit purchasing managers index (PMI) for April came in at 48.1, lower than a preliminary reading of 48.3 but up slightly from an eight-month low of 48.0 in March. Output and new orders contracted in April, and new export orders slipped back into contraction after a recovery the previous month, the survey found. Tensions in Ukraine were also at the forefront of investors' minds, after pro-Russian militants stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed nearly 70 fellow activists. Portuguese equities will be in the spotlight after the country's government said on Sunday it would exit the three-year 78-billion-euro bailout this month without a precautionary credit line, as it returns to growth after years of painful austerity and unpopular reforms. The cabinet decision was announced by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in a televised address to the nation and means the country will no longer have to answer to foreign creditors after the bailout ends on May 17. "With a 15 billion euro ($20.80 billion) cash buffer and funding until 2015, there are few immediately obvious risks in the light of current periphery sentiment," RBS analysts wrote in a note. "Portugal's lower deficit, relative to other periphery countries, allied to its large cash buffer, means that supply is fairly limited for this year." Lisbon's PSI 20 stock index has surged 15 percent so far in 2014, strongly outpacing the broad FTSEurofirst 300, up 2.6 percent over the same period. Shares in Spain's Repsol will also be in focus after El Confidencial reported on Monday that Mexican state oil firm Pemex has hired Credit Agricole to sell its stake of just over 9 percent in the oil major. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0613 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,881.14 -0.13 % -2.54 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 474.48 -0.22 % -1.03 EUR/USD 1.3878 0.06 % 0.0008 USD/JPY 101.95 -0.23 % -0.2300 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.586 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.450 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,306.49 0.51 % $6.67 US CRUDE $99.92 0.16 % 0.16 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares falter on China PMI, bonds in demand > Wall St dips as Ukraine concern offsets upbeat jobs data > FOREX-Yen hits 2-week high vs dollar on soft China PMI, aussie sags > Gold climbs to 3-week high on Ukraine tensions, short covering > METALS-Shanghai copper climbs to near two-month top after holiday > Brent edges down towards $108 on disappointing China PMI COMPANY NEWS: REPSOL Mexican state oil firm Pemex has hired Credit Agricole to sell its stake of just over 9 percent in Spain's Repsol, El Confidencial reported on Monday, citing financial sources. Separately, Expansion newspaper reported that Spanish businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir, chairman of infrastructure firm OHL, has offered Repsol to become a major shareholder and buy a stake in the company. UNICREDIT The bank expected to formally start on Tuesday a procedure to sell its credit management unit, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday. Five suitors are still in the run to buy the unit, the paper said. Among those interested are, according to Il Sole: Prelios together with Fortress, a consortium formed by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and TPG, another consortium formed by CVC-Jupiter and Cerberus and other foreign funds. GDF SUEZ, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT The French utility GDF and Suez Environnement denied a report that Spanish group La Caixa would take a stake in the environmental services firm, replacing lead shareholder GDF. CARREFOUR French retail giant Carrefour SA has begun making plans to exit its India wholesale operations, the Times of India reported on Saturday. BANCA POPOLARE DELL'EMILIA ROMAGNA The bank is mulling a capital increase of up to 800 million euros, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Saturday. A decision should be taken on Tuesday, when the bank's board meets. TECNICAS REUNIDAS Spanish energy contractor Tecnicas Reunidas said on Sunday it had been awarded a contract worth close to $1.7 billion from state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco to build a large power complex in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jazan Province. ADIDAS Adidas AG's failure to narrow the market share gap with Nike Inc means shareholders should refuse to back the German company's management at the annual general meeting, institutional investor Union Investment told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. MERCK KGAA Merck KGaA said it had completed its 1.9 billion euro ($2.63 billion) takeover of Britain's AZ Electronic Materials, a move Merck expects to boost its business in Asia. ($1 = 0.7212 Euros) (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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