Europe Factors to Watch-Stocks set to dip; eyes on earnings
PARIS, July 30 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to dip on Wednesday, trimming some of the previous session's gains, with a number of blue-chips such as Airbus, KPN and Infineon in focus after posting quarterly results. At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent. Investors also awaited U.S. growth figures for the second quarter, due at 1230 GMT, as well as the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting and its statement set to be released at 18:00 GMT. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the U.S. the economy to have grown at an annualised rate of 3.0 percent in the second quarter, turning around from a 2.9 percent contraction in the first three months of the year due in part to a harsh winter. The Fed, meanwhile, is all but certain to cut its monthly bond-buying programme by another $10 billion, although the focus has already shifted to when it will start to raise interest rates. On the earnings front in Europe, Airbus reported first-half underlying operating profit up 10 percent and reaffirmed its forecasts for the year, while German chipmaker Infineon raised its full-year outlook on strong demand for its products from carmakers and industrial customers. The banking sector will be in focus after Barclays said underlying profits fell 7 percent in the first six months of this year after a drop in investment bank revenue, and Spain's second-biggest bank BBVA reported a 39 percent fall in second-quarter net profit as lending revenue dropped and earnings a year ago were boosted by gains from asset sales. About 35 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported results so far in the earnings season, of which 58 percent have met or beaten profit forecast, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. European stocks gained ground on Tuesday, boosted by M&A in the real estate sector as well as a number of positive earnings reports despite the threat to the region's economy from further sanctions against Russia. The European Union and the United States on Tuesday announced further sanctions against Russia, targeting its energy, banking and defence sectors in the strongest international action yet over Moscow's support for rebels in eastern Ukraine. 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 1,969.95 -0.45 % -8.96 NIKKEI 15646.23 0.18 % 28.16 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 513.4 0.51 % 2.6 EUR/USD 1.3405 -0.03 % -0.0004 USD/JPY 102.13 0.02 % 0.0200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.469 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.124 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,299.31 0.09 % $1.21 US CRUDE $101.16 0.19 % 0.19 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES RISE, DOLLAR STEADY BEFORE FED > US STOCKS-WALL STREET ENDS DOWN; TWITTER RALLIES AFTER-HOURS > NIKKEI EDGES UP AS STRONG EARNINGS OFFSET WEAK INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT > FOREX-DOLLAR STEADY NEAR 6-MONTH PEAK AHEAD OF GDP AND FED TESTS > PRECIOUS-GOLD TREADS WATER BELOW $1,300 AS FED, ECONOMIC DATA EYED > METALS-LEAD FALLS AS CHART PATTERNS SPARK PROFIT-TAKING > BRENT HOVERS NEAR $107.50 AHEAD OF U.S. DATA COMPANY NEWS: AIRBUS GROUP The aerospace group reported first-half underlying operating profit rose 10 percent and reaffirmed its forecasts for the year, telling investors not to worry about the health of the commercial jetliner market. BARCLAYS The lender said underlying profits fell 7 percent in the first six months of this year after a drop in investment bank revenue as the British bank attempts to streamline the business and reform culture. KPN The Dutch telecoms group reported better-than-expected second-quarter core profit as a cost cutting programme partially made up for falling profitability in most units. PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN Peugeot narrowed its first-half net loss and posted the first positive contribution from its core auto division in three years, as the French carmaker's recovery plan began to show early results. HOLCIM, LAFARGE The Swiss cement maker, which is preparing to merge with French peer Lafarge , said second-quarter net profit rose nearly 6 percent as a cost-cutting and restructuring drive helped offset the impact of a drop in sales. BBVA Spain's second-biggest bank reported a 39 percent fall in second-quarter net profit as lending revenue dropped and earnings a year ago were boosted by gains from asset sales. BAYER Germany's largest drugmaker, posted a 1 percent gain in quarterly adjusted core earnings, as strong sales growth of newly introduced pharmaceuticals was tempered by a strong euro weighing on the value of overseas sales. INFINEON German chipmaker on Wednesday raised its full year outlook on strong demand for its products from carmakers and industrial customers. NOBEL BIOCARE Swiss dental implant maker Nobel Biocare confirmed it has been approached by potential buyers and is in "very early" talks with them about its sale. DEUTSCHE BANK BARCLAYS New York's banking regulator is seeking to place government monitors in the U.S. offices of Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc as part of its investigation into the foreign-exchange market, a person familiar with the matter said. HEIDELBERGCEMENT German cement maker posted flat second-quarter operating profit, missing consensus for a 9 percent rise, as the unfavourable impact of a strong euro weighed on results. VOLKSWAGEN The carmaker is closing in on Toyota Motor Corp as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China - the world's biggest auto market - while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality. FINMECCANICA Italy's Finmeccanica said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with prosecutors to settle legal proceedings over a scrapped helicopter contract between one of its units and India, adding this did not equal an acknowledgment of any wrongdoing. MEDIASET Italy's biggest broadcaster Mediaset reported a net loss in the first half of this year as solid results at its Spanish unit failed to offset falling domestic revenues. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM The long-anticipated merger of Sprint Corp and Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile US Inc is not expected to occur before September, with the companies continuing due diligence and preparing a detailed case for a deal before U.S. regulators, according to people familiar with the matter. ERAMET The French mining and metals group said it expects current operating income to improve in the second half of the year from the first as nickel prices improve and manganese ore prices level out. TELEFONICA Telefonica is in talks to acquire Mexico's third largest wireless telecoms company Iusacell, worth between 2.5 billion euros and 3 billion euros, website El Confidencial reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources close to the talks. SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC Electrical gear maker confirmed its full-year targets on Wednesday after it posted a 3.2 percent rise in first-half sales and roughly flat earnings that missed expectations. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT French waste and water group said first-half net profit nearly doubled on the strength of its European water business and a disposal gain on the sale of its Macau CEM unit. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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