Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady ahead of ECB
PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen steady on Thursday morning ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting at which the bank is set to unveil fresh measures to support the euro zone's frail recovery and prevent deflation. The telecom sector will be in focus again after Sprint Corp agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US Inc, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, according to a source, a premium to the carrier's Wednesday close of about a 17 percent. Deutsche Telekom owns 67 percent of T-Mobile. Shares in metal and mining companies, which have a big exposure to China, will be in the spotlight after data showed growth in the country's services sector retreated to a four-month low in May. The services purchasing managers' index (PMI) compiled by HSBC/Markit slipped to 50.7 last month from April's 51.4, although it still held above the 50-point level separating growth from contraction. At 0615 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.1 percent. At its meeting on Thursday, the ECB is expected to impose negative interest rates on its overnight depositors, seeking to prompt banks to lend instead and to prevent the region from slipping into Japan-like deflation, and launch a long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) targeted at businesses. "Expectations are for the ECB to let slip the dogs of dovish monetary policy today with, at a minimum, a cut in the main interest rate," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note. "However, with so much already priced in and Draghi's history of talking the talk but not walking the walk on firing off bazookas, another impotent outing could see risks to the downside." Despite recent economic data pointing to a slower-than-expected recovery for the euro zone Economy, European stocks have been supported by the prospect of fresh intervention from the ECB, with Germany's DAX hitting a record high earlier this week. Euro zone peripheral markets have also been rallying on hopes of further measures from the central bank, with Milan's FTSE MIB index up about 14 percent year-to-date and Madrid's IBEX up 9 percent. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0617 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,927.88 0.19 % 3.64 NIKKEI 15079.37 0.08 % 11.41 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 487.87 -0.01 % -0.07 EUR/USD 1.3608 0.07 % 0.0010 USD/JPY 102.51 -0.21 % -0.2200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.590 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.427 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,243.46 0.05 % $0.66 US CRUDE $102.39 -0.24 % -0.25 > GLOBAL MARKETS-CHINA DATA DISAPPOINTS; ALL EYES ON ECB > US STOCKS-S&P ENDS AT NEW RECORD ON STRONG SERVICES SECTOR GROWTH DATA > NIKKEI CHOPPY, MARKET AWAITS ECB, U.S. JOBS DATA; SAPPORO DIVES > FOREX-EURO NEAR FOUR-MONTH LOWS AS ECB LOOMS; YEN GETS RESPITE > PRECIOUS-GOLD HOLDS NEAR 4-MONTH LOW AS ECB MOVE ON RATES AWAITED > METALS-LONDON COPPER STEADY, GLOBAL GROWTH OUTLOOK SUPPORTS > BRENT HITS 3-WEEK LOW OF $108 AS UKRAINE TENSIONS EASE COMPANY NEWS: DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Sprint Corp has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US Inc, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, a premium to the carrier's Wednesday close of about a 17 percent. Deutsche Telekom owns 67 percent of T-Mobile. EDF The French utility aims to sell as early as the end of June a 70 percent stake in Italian unit Edison's wind farms to local infrastructure fund F2i, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks said. ORANGE, BOUYGUES The French telecoms firm has hired investment banks Lazard and Credit Suisse to assess a potential purchase of rival Bouygues Telecom, a deal that could top 6 billion euros, two people close to the situation said. DEUTSCHE BANK Deutsche Bank's plans for an 8 billion euros ($10.9 billion) capital hike came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday when a procedural bottleneck in a German court forced the lender to delay the issue by several days. It had planned to price the issue on Wednesday. BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA Stock market watchdog Consob said in a statement that it had approved the prospectus to Monte dei Paschi's planned 5-billion-euro capital increase. Consob said the board of Monte dei Paschi would meet on Thursday to approve the price of the share issue. HENKEL The consumer goods group agreed to buy French laundry products group Spotless from buyout group BC Partners in a deal worth around 940 million euros, it said on Thursday. CASINO Brazilian retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar said Wednesday its board, along with other subsidiaries of the French retailer Casino, approved a plan to merge their e-commerce units, which would have combined annual sales of $4.9 billion. VINCI Private equity group Ardian, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Vinci, the concessions operating company, said they had finalised the creation of a company that will own the car parking business Vinci Park. The finalisation took place four months after the start of exclusive talks. ENI Italy's energy group Eni said on Wednesday it had agreed to help develop the Perla gas field in Venezuela, one of the largest discoveries of the decade, and committed to invest up to $500 million into the project. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson, editing by Tricia Wright)
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