European Factors to Watch-Flat start eyed ahead of euro zone GDP
(Adds further details, company news) LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open between flat and 2 points higher, Germany's DAX to open 6 to 7 points higher and France's CAC 40 to open 2 points higher, all between flat and up 0.1 percent in percentage terms. Eurostat will publish a flash estimate of second-quarter economic growth in the euro zone at 0900 GMT. Economists expect expansion of 0.2 percent on the quarter in the three months to June, the same pace as seen in the first quarter. France slashed on Thursday its growth forecasts for both 2014 and 2015 and said it would miss its public deficit target this year, urging its European peers and their central bank to take steps to boost faltering growth and head off deflation. COMPANY NEWS THYSSENKRUPP The german steelmaker said it may return to a net profit this year, raising its outlook for a second time as restructuring at its steel mill in Brazil paid off and demand for elevators and chemicals plants bolstered earnings. RWE RWE said its operating earnings fell 40 percent in the first half of 2014, putting it on track for its third straight year of declining profits as low wholesale power prices and demand continue to burden Germany's second-biggest utility. VIVENDI TELECOM ITALIA Telecom Italia Chief Executive Marco Patuano met Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore on Wednesday to discuss an offer for the French group's Brazilian broadband unit GVT, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. K+S Operating profit at the German potash miner declined 3.3 percent as lower prices of the fertiliser mineral were partly offset by an insurance payment for an accident at one of its mines. AEGON The Dutch insurer reported a 7 percent rise in second-quarter profit, helped by a rise in deposits and gains in equity markets. MARKS & SPENCER The British retailer is close to having both its food and general merchandise divisions "firing on all cylinders" and expects a better Christmas after poor clothing sales hit last holiday season, according to its food business head. ERSTE GROUP, UNICREDIT Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded three systemically important Austrian banks - Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich RZB.UL, Erste Group and Unicredit Bank Austria UCUBA.UL - in response to new bail-in legislation. VOLKSWAGEN China will fine German premium auto brand Audi around 250 million yuan ($40.63 million) for violating anti-monopoly laws, the 21st Century Business Herald, an influential business daily, reported on Thursday. GDF SUEZ Colombian electricity company Celsia ES will buy stakes in power-generating facilities in Panama and Costa Rica from France's GDF Suez for $840 million, Celsia said in a filing with Colombia's financial regulator on Wednesday, the first time the company has expanded abroad. SANOFI, ROCHE, GSK, ACTELION U.S. biotechnology company InterMune Inc ITMN.O is working with financial advisers to evaluate strategic options as it braces for potential takeover interest from larger drugmakers, people familiar with the matter said. Separately, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that InterMune has drawn takeover bids from Sanofi SA, Roche Holding AG, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Actelion Ltd. ELECTROLUX AB General Electric Co is reportedly in talks with Sweden's Electrolux AB and Quirky Inc to sell its household appliances unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. DEUTSCHE BANK Germany's biggest lender and shopping center operator ECE have signed a preliminary agreement to buy the building complex "Palais Quartier" in Frankfurt for 800 million euros ($1.07 billion) from Rabobank, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on Thursday, citing sources. MAJOR EUROPEAN COMPANIES REPORTING : TUI AG Q3 AIR BERLIN PLC Q2 AEROPORTS DE PARIS SA TRAFFIC MAJOR U.S. COMPANIES REPORTING : AMC Q3 2014 Agilent Technologies Inc. AMC Q3 2014 Applied Materials MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0900 EZ GDP Flash Estimate Q2 0900 EZ Inflation, Final Jul 1230 US Initial Jobless w/e ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0542 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,946.72 0.67 % 12.97 NIKKEI 15329.74 0.76 % 116.11 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 507.89 0.29 % 1.47 EUR/USD 1.336 -0.03 % -0.0004 USD/JPY 102.60 0.19 % 0.1900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.435 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.030 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,312.58 0.02 % $0.22 US CRUDE $97.32 -0.28 % -0.27 > SHARES, BONDS RALLY AS INVESTORS BANK ON ENDLESS STIMULUS > BIOTECHS LIFT WALL ST; DOW BACK IN BLACK FOR 2014 > NIKKEI EXTENDS RALLY, SUPPORTED BY PUBLIC BUYING HOPES > BOND YIELDS FALL ON WEAK DATA, 10-YEAR AUCTION SOLID > POUND HITS 4-MONTH LOW AFTER BOE'S DOVISH SHIFT, EURO EYES GDP > GOLD RETAINS GAINS ON SOFT U.S. DATA, SAFE-HAVEN DEMAND > LONDON COPPER SLIPS TO 7-WEEK LOWS ON CHINA WORRIES > BRENT FALLS BELOW $104 AFTER BRIEF RECOVERY FROM 13-MONTH LOW (Reporting By Francesco Canepa)
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