European Factors to Watch-Shares to edge back; focus on Ukraine
(Adds detail, company news, updates table) EDINBURGH, July 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging lower at the open on Wednesday, easing back from a surge in the previous session as investors remained jittery over conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 1.3 percent stronger at 1,373.75 points on Tuesday, boosted by good earnings and signs of co-operation between rebels and the West for an investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. The rebels handed over the plane's black boxes as European countries struggled to agree on sanctions for Russia, who they accuse of supporting the separatists, sparking a rally in the rouble and other Russian assets. However, while meaningful economically damaging sanctions were delayed, the EU was drafting extra sanctions on capital markets and defence, which could spark tit-for-tat measures from Russia. "We are calling the major bourses mildly weaker. While Russian equities and the rouble enjoyed some reprieve in yesterday's trade, the repercussions from recent events are far from over," Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG, said. "The EU is still threatening to introduce a package of further significant restrictive measures against Russia... This perhaps warrants some caution for some investors." Also keeping investors on edge was the situation in the Middle East, where Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip, saying no ceasefire was near. At 0621 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.1-0.3 percent lower. In a busy morning for company reports, Dutch paints and chemicals firm AkzoNobel and truck and car maker Daimler reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings. The reports continued a trend which has seen STOXX Europe 600 companies beat expectations by 4.9 percent on aggregate so far this earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data. Although it came in ahead of forecasts, Daimler's operating profit fell 41 percent even as new models including the C-Class sedan hitting showrooms boosted earnings at its Mercedes-Benz Cars division by 35 percent. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0619 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,983.53 0.5 % 9.9 NIKKEI 15328.56 -0.1 % -14.72 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 506.52 0.52 % 2.63 EUR/USD 1.3464 0 % 0.0000 USD/JPY 101.41 -0.05 % -0.0500 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.469 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.162 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,306.00 -0.08 % -$1.00 US CRUDE $102.10 -0.28 % -0.29 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks rise as risk aversion wanes > US STOCKS-Wall St gains on earnings, data; conflicts eyed > Nikkei flat as investors avoid risk on Gaza worries > TREASURIES-Yield fall as Fed seen in no rush to hike rates > FOREX-Euro finally gives in, Aussie eyes CPI test > PRECIOUS-Safe-haven bids keep gold above $1,300 > METALS-London zinc, aluminium near peaks as investors buy > Brent holds steady above $107; U.S. oil stocks in focus COMPANY NEWS ALSTOM The French engineering group achieved record quarterly orders for rail equipment that offset a drop in sales at its power arm, most of which General Electric recently agreed to buy for 12.4 billion euros. DAIMLER Indicated 1.6 percent higher The carmaker's second-quarter operating profit fell 41 percent even as new models including the C-Class sedan hitting showrooms boosted earnings at its Mercedes-Benz Cars division by 35 percent. Separately, Handelsblatt daily cited company sources as saying Daimler plans to invest more than 3 billion euros in its German plants in Sindelfingen, Untertuerkheim and Gaggenau but in return demands concessions from workers there. Related news DEUTSCHE BANK Deutsche Bank and Barclays on Tuesday locked horns with a U.S. Senate committee that has accused them of selling option products to hedge funds to help them avoid taxes. Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found serious problems in Deutsche Bank AG's U.S. operations, including shoddy financial reporting, inadequate auditing and oversight and weak technology. Related news LUFTHANSA Germany's largest airline said on Tuesday it would suspend flights to Israel for 36 hours for security concerns, following similar moves by U.S. and European carriers. Related news BHP BILLITON - The global miner beat its own guidance for full-year iron ore output, saying it mined a record 225 million tonnes in fiscal 2014, 4 percent ahead of its forecast, leading productivity gains across a number of businesses. STMICROELECTRONICS The chip maker posted net revenue of $1.86 billion and a gross margin of 34 percent in the second quarter, helped by sales of chips for cars and industrial products. AIR FRANCE-KLM The French and Dutch arms of the company were among international airlines which suspended flights to Tel Aviv in light of the security situation in Israel. RENAULT, FIAT The French carmaker said it would supply Fiat with a light commercial vehicle based on a Renault platform. AIRBUS Hawaiian Airlines said it plans to add a revamped version of the Airbus A330 jetliner to its fleet beginning in 2019 as it looks to expand to longer-haul destinations. UNICREDIT The bank is looking for a partner to buy a stake in its asset management unit Pioneer, La Repubblica said without citing sources. The paper said some big private equity firms including Bain, Apollo and GS Capital have started to look at the books. UniCredit has always said Pioneer is a strategic asset. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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