European Factors to Watch-Shares set to fall after jet downed in Ukraine
(Adds company news, details and futures) EDINBURGH, July 18 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling on Friday, extending losses made in late trade in the previous session after a passenger plane was downed over Ukraine, ratcheting up geopolitical tensions in the region. Reports that a Malaysian airliner had crashed triggered a sell-off in very late trade on Thursday, and after market close, a U.S. official said it strongly suspected a surface-to-air missile fired by Ukrainian separatists brought down the plane. The incident set the tone for substantial losses in U.S. and Asian stocks. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index extended losses to close down by 1 percent at 1,363.19, having already been in negative territory after new sanctions from the West on Russia hit sentiment towards stocks with exposure to the country. Uncertainty over how the incident would impact the conflict between the Ukrainian government and separatists in the east could see stocks fall even if the two sides managed to de-escalate tensions over the coming days, analysts said. "Price action in today's session could be very telling, especially with traders still harbouring many questions around the short-term implications in Ukraine," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said. "Unless we hear more definitive news, the uncertainty could see elevated risk aversion." At 0626 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.2 to 0.3 percent lower. The crash was set to take the shine off of a number of expectation-beating profit reports, with Sweden's Swedbank, mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson and home appliances firm Electrolux all reporting results that beat consensus estimates. With 12 percent of companies in the DJ Stoxx 600 having reported results so far this earnings season, 73 percent have beaten or met expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. However global truck maker Volvo posted a smaller than expected rise in profit after a slow rebound in demand in Europe left it with overcapacity. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0543 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,958.12 -1.18 % -23.45 NIKKEI 15188.14 -1.18 % -182.12 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 498.89 -0.2 % -1.02 EUR/USD 1.3522 -0.03 % -0.0004 USD/JPY 101.30 0.15 % 0.1500 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.467 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.146 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,314.80 -0.19 % -$2.50 US CRUDE $103.63 0.43 % 0.44 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares fall as jet downing hits sentiment > US STOCKS-Wall St slides on Malaysian airliner crash news > Nikkei in biggest drop in 2 months as downing of jet hits mood > TREASURIES-Safe-haven buying of U.S. bonds after jet downed > FOREX-Yen surges as jet downing stokes geopolitical worries > PRECIOUS-Gold dips, safe-haven bids support after plane crash > METALS-London copper set for biggest weekly drop since June > Brent climbs above $108 after plane downed in Ukraine COMPANY NEWS DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA Germany's largest airline said its planes would steer clear of east Ukrainian air space after a Malaysian airliner crashed. The airline continues to serve the airports of Kiev and Odessa for now. Related news SHIRE Shire Plc and U.S. drugmaker Abbvie Inc plan to announce a $53 billion merger as soon as Friday morning, two people said on Thursday. ALLIANZ Insurance on the Malaysian airliner brought down over Ukraine is likely to pay out relatively quickly if the cause of the crash is determined, but observers say insurance for the loss of 298 lives and other liability could be complex and lengthy. Allianz is the lead hull and liability reinsurer covering a Malaysian airliner, Bloomberg reported. Related news REMY COINTREAU The French spirits group said fiscal first-quarter sales fell 5.7 percent year-on-year, hit by sluggish trading in Western Europe and by China's government crackdown on corruption that continued to sap demand for premium cognac. SWEDBANK The Swedish bank reported second-quarter operating profit above expectations and repeated it will keep costs in 2014 at the same level as last year. For more on the company, click on TIETO The Finnish IT services provider reported a surprise fall to its quarterly earnings as customer insourcing hit its product development service business. For more on the company, click on VOLVO The global truck maker Volvo posted a smaller than expected rise in core earnings on Friday and said a recovery in the European market had come later than anticipated in the second quarter, resulting in over-capacity in production. For more on the company, click on ERICSSON The mobile telecom gear maker posted second-quarter sales and operating income above expectations on Friday and repeated key contracts won by the group would lift sales in the second half of the year. For more on the company, click on DANONE The French food group said it was buying a 40 percent stake in Brookside, East Africa's top dairy producer, as part of plans to expand in new markets amid weak growth in Europe and a slowing economy in China. ACCOR The French hotel operator reported a 3.3 percent like-for-like rise in second-quarter sales, helped by a recovery in southern Europe and "solid" overall trends. HERMES The French luxury goods maker posted a 9.6 percent rise in second-quarter sales at constant exchange rates as a ramp-up in production at new sites helped leather goods sales. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Tricia Wright)
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