European Factors to Watch-Shares to pause after bumper week
LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen pausing for a breather on Friday after brisk gains since the start of July set key regional indexes on course for their biggest weekly gains in several months and close to major technical resistance levels. At 0630 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50 and France's CAC were down 0.1 percent, while contracts on Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were flat. Strong U.S. economic data and supportive rhetoric from the European Central Bank have fuelled a rally in European equities this week, catching some investors by surprise after a dip in June had led some to believe the rally was losing momentum. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 1.2 percent to 3,289.75 on Thursday. "You can't fight the tape, it's as simple as that," said Justin Haque, a broker at Hobart Capital Markets, using a market phrase which refers to taking a contrarian position. "In a very bullish scenario the Euro STOXX is going to make a new high at 3,360." The DAX, on track for its steepest weekly rise since March, was a whisker away from an all-time high set last month. The FTSE was close to its highest level since late 1999 and on course for its biggest weekly advance since April. "The bulls have gotten up to a canter and the question is if they can pick up enough pace to stampede through some pretty solid resistance levels," Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a note. Trading activity was expected to be low on Friday, with the U.S. stock market, the world's largest, shut for a national holiday. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0630 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,985.44 0.55 % 10.82 NIKKEI 15437.13 0.58 % 88.84 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 500.81 0.19 % 0.94 EUR/USD 1.3598 -0.09 % -0.0012 USD/JPY 102.03 -0.15 % -0.1500 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.641 -- #N/A 10-YR BUND YLD 1.286 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,322.00 0.19 % $2.51 US CRUDE $103.97 -0.09 % -0.09 > ASIAN STOCKS HIT 3-YEAR PEAK ON UPBEAT U.S. DATA > DOW POPS ABOVE 17,000, S&P 500 AT RECORD AS JOBS JUMP > NIKKEI RISES TO 5-1/2-MONTH HIGH AFTER STRONG U.S. JOBS REPORT > TREASURIES-U.S. BOND YIELDS UP SLIGHTLY AFTER STRONG U.S. JOBS DATA > DOLLAR UP ON JOBS CHEER, FED'S RESPONSE KEENLY AWAITED > GOLD RETAINS LOSSES AS STRONG US JOBS DATA, STOCKS DRAG > COPPER SET FOR BIGGEST WEEKLY GAIN IN NINE MONTHS > BRENT HOLDS NEAR $111, U.S. OIL IN LONGEST LOSING STREAK SINCE DEC '09 COMPANY NEWS VESTAS WIND SYSTEMS The world's biggest wind turbine maker is close to receive the first order for its V164-8.0 MW offshore turbine. The world's most powerful wind turbine is currently being tested in western part of Denmark and company expects it to be in serial production in 2015 if company gets orders for it. Announcement of the first order can happen soon, head of offshore activities Jens Tommerup told daily Borsen. For more on the company, click: VW The carmaker sold more than three million cars of its VW brand in the first half of 2014, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said on Thursday. It was the first time that six months sales hit that level, Winterkorn said at a presentation of the new Passat model in Potsdam. Related news PEUGEOT PSA Peugeot Citroen Deputy Chairman Thierry Peugeot is leaving the supervisory board with immediate effect, the French carmaker said on Thursday. BMW The luxury carmaker revealed a $1 billion Mexican plant investment on Thursday, becoming the latest in a line of major automakers to take advantage of the country's growing industrial base and tariff-free access to the U.S. market. BMW outlined plans to build a factory near San Luis Potosi, central Mexico, in a move that will reduce the German company's dependence on higher-cost plants at home. Related news ROCHE Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Friday that Japan has become the first country to approve its drug alectinib that is intended to treat patients with a specific form of advanced lung cancer. For more, click on: ALSTOM The deal under which the French government will acquire up to 20 percent of Alstom from the engineering company's top shareholder Bouygues amounts to concerted action, French market regulator AMF said on Thursday, a decision that could make it more costly for the state to acquire the holding. METRO In the fierce struggle for power between Media Saturn and the group's founder Erich Kellerhals, the group's management aligned itself with acting CEO Pieter Haas as a shareholders' meeting is about to decide about his removal on Friday, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said. In a letter to Media Saturn owner Metro and to Kellerhals, who still owns 22 percent of the consumer electronics chain, the seven managers warned that the group's capacity to act might be at risk, the paper said. Kellerhals' legal attempts to get rid of Haas had led to a new escalation level in the relation between shareholders and managers, the paper quoted from the internal letter. Related news TECHNIP French engineering group Technip said it was awarded a contract by Total E&P UK for the Edradour Subsea Development, located approximately 75 kilometers North West of the Shetland Islands, in approximately 300 meters of water. Financial terms were not disclosed. BNP PARIBAS Standard and Poor's affirmed its 'A+' long-term credit rating on BNP Paribas on Thursday. S&P said it revised its assessment of the bank's capital to "moderate" from "adequate" and placed the rating on a negative outlook from Credit Watch negative. Cuba on Thursday criticized as illegal the record U.S. fine against French bank BNP Paribas, saying President Barack Obama's administration has now imposed more Cuba-related penalties than that of any previous U.S. president. CLUB MED Club Mediterranee said on Thursday the board of directors has named independent advisors on the back of a bidding war for control of the French resort operator. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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