Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch lower ahead of ZEW
PARIS, Aug 12 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch lower on Tuesday, halting the previous session's sharp rebound as investors awaited Germany's ZEW survey on economic sentiment, seeking insight on the outlook for Europe's biggest economy and the potential impact from the crisis in Ukraine. At 0628 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1 percent. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia also kept investors on edge. A Russian convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine set off late on Tuesday amid Western warnings against using help as a pretext for an invasion. Ukraine also reported that Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday he saw a "high probability" that Russia could intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine. "There are some contradictory comments on the Russia front at the moment," IG market strategist Stan Shamu wrote in a note. "There were suggestions that Russia was withdrawing its troops from the eastern Ukraine border. However, NATO actually came out and said there are no signs of this happening and there is a high probability that Russia could intervene in eastern Ukraine still." The impact from tensions between the West and Russia were visible again on the earnings front on Tuesday, with German consumer goods group Henkel warning underlying earnings growth would slow in the second half of the year in part due to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. As Europe's earnings season draws to a close, STOXX Europe 600 companies have posted a 9.7 percent rise in second-quarter profits on average, but revenues have slipped 1.1 percent, reflecting Europe's frustratingly slow economic recovery. Shares in Standard Chartered will be in focus after sources said the lender will soon begin sifting through a mountain of data for signs of possible money laundering or other criminal activity, as a result of faults in the software critical to its anti-money laundering compliance program. European shares rebounded on Monday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 gaining 1.3 percent, as initial signs of an easing in Russia's military build-up on the border with Ukraine over the weekend prompted bargain hunters to look for deals following the market's sharp two-week slide. 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 1,936.92 0.28 % 5.33 NIKKEI 15161.31 0.2 % 30.79 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 502.53 0.41 % 2.06 EUR/USD 1.3365 -0.15 % -0.0020 USD/JPY 102.28 0.1 % 0.1000 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.428 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.064 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,308.10 0.02 % $0.26 US CRUDE $97.62 -0.47 % -0.46 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA SHARES EXTEND GAINS, OIL STUCK NEAR LOWS > US STOCKS-WALL ST ENDS UP FOR SECOND DAY ON HOPES FOR RUSSIA RELIEF > NIKKEI EXTENDS REBOUND, BUT INVESTORS REMAIN CAUTIOUS > FOREX-DOLLAR STALLS AS GEOPOLITICAL STORM QUIETENS > PRECIOUS-GOLD IN TIGHT RANGE ABOVE $1,300 AS GLOBAL EQUITIES GAIN > METALS-COPPER DROPS TOWARDS 6-WK LOWS, GEOPOLITICS CLOUDS OUTLOOK > BRENT FALLS AS OUTPUT, SUPPLIES SEEN STABLE DESPITE IRAQ TENSIONS COMPANY NEWS: STANDARD CHARTERED Standard Chartered Plc will soon begin sifting through a mountain of data for signs of possible money laundering or other criminal activity, as a result of faults in the software critical to its anti-money laundering compliance program, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. GEBERIT Geberit AG on Tuesday posted a 7.1 percent rise in first-half sales compared with a year earlier, and said it had every reason to be confident of achieving solid results in 2014. GALENICA Galenica said it will split into two units effective immediately in order to list its its pharmaceutical and healthcare arms separately at an undisclosed point in the future. GDF SUEZ More than half of Belgium's nuclear capacity is offline after an oil leak forced the closure of a reactor, pushing up power prices and boosting gas demand, just as Russian exports to Europe appear increasingly uncertain for the upcoming winter. RHOEN-KLINIKUM Goldman Sachs and Berenberg said they plan to place up to 2.9 million ordinary shares in Rhoen through an accelerated bookbuilding offering to institutional investors. The shares were acquired from Swedish Pension fund Alecta, the banks said. GfK The market researcher cut its sales outlook, saying it now saw organic revenues shrinking by up to 1.5 percent following a first-half decline and replaced its finance chief as CFO Pamela Knapp asked to leave. HENNES & MAURITZ Overall clothing sales in the fashion retailer's home market Sweden, its sixth-biggest market by sales, were up near 4 percent in July from a year earlier, the Swedish Trade Federation's Stilindex showed on Tuesday. HENKEL The German consumer goods group affirmed its 2014 outlook but warned that underlying earnings growth would slow in the second half of the year due to crises in Russia and the Middle East. OMV The Austrian oil and gas group's underlying operating profit halved in the second quarter as its refining margin dropped on weak economic recovery and overcapacity in Europe. TELECOM ITALIA The group said on Tuesday it had agreed with U.S. investment firm Fintech to extend the deadline to complete the sale of Telecom Argentina to Sept. 1. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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