European Factors to Watch-Stocks set to extend rebound
PARIS, Aug 15 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to extend their rebound on Friday, gaining ground for the fourth time in five days and tracking a rally on Wall Street, after conciliatory comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin helped ease worries over the Ukrainian conflict. At 0613 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.2-0.3 percent. Despite Putin's comments on Thursday, tensions remained high between Russia and Ukraine. Dozens of heavy Russian military vehicles massed near the border, where a Russian convoy with humanitarian aid came to a halt as Moscow and Kiev struggled to agree on border crossing procedures. Mining stocks will be in focus on Friday after BHP Billiton said it is leaning towards shedding its unwanted assets through a spin-off to shareholders, and a report said the group plans to form a separate $14 billion company for its aluminium, manganese, nickel, Cannington silver mine and South African energy coal assets. Shares in oil majors and oil services firms will also be in the spotlight as Brent crude futures remained near a 13-month low below $103 a barrel, and after an environmental think tank said more than half a trillion dollars of investments in major oil projects over the next decade are at risk from high costs and low crude oil prices. European stocks have recovered ground this week, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares up 1.8 percent, following a sharp pull-back sparked by fears of escalation in the Ukrainian conflict. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0615 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,955.18 0.43 % 8.46 NIKKEI 15318.34 0.02 % 3.77 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 508.95 0.23 % 1.18 EUR/USD 1.3366 0.03 % 0.0004 USD/JPY 102.52 0.09 % 0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.407 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.018 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,313.29 0.04 % $0.55 US CRUDE $95.56 -0.02 % -0.02 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES EDGE UP, POISED FOR WEEKLY RISE > US STOCKS-WALL ST ENDS HIGHER AFTER UKRAINE CONCERNS EASE > NIKKEI STEPS BACK AFTER 4-DAY WINNING STREAK; SONY JUMPS > FOREX-EURO SHRUGS OFF DISAPPOINTING GDP DATA, DATA-HIT DOLLAR HELPS > PRECIOUS-GOLD ON TRACK FOR SECOND WEEKLY GAIN ON SAFE-HAVEN DEMAND > METALS-LONDON COPPER NEAR 7-WEEK LOWS AS ECONOMIC CLOUDS GATHER > BRENT STAYS NEAR 13-MONTH LOW BELOW $103 COMPANY NEWS: BHP BILLITON BHP Billiton said on Friday it is leaning towards shedding its unwanted assets through a spin-off to shareholders, as a report said the world's biggest miner planned to form a separate $14 billion company for its aluminium, manganese, nickel, Cannington silver mine and South African energy coal assets. FIAT Sergio Marchionne has shown he is determined to let nothing stand in the way of Fiat's merger with Chrysler, but a share price slide may yet force the CEO to hit the brakes on plans to turn the world's No. 7 carmaker into a top player. OIL AND OIL SERVICES FIRMS More than half a trillion dollars of investments in major oil projects over the next decade are at risk from high costs and low crude oil prices, an environmental think tank said on Friday, warning that shareholders' returns could suffer. VIVENDI Telecom Italia SpA on Thursday confirmed its interest in acquiring Vivendi SA's Brazilian broadband unit GVT SA, challenging a surprise 6.7 billion euro ($9 billion) bid by Telefonica SA. ARCELORMITTAL The world's largest steelmaker has sent a non-binding expression of interest for troubled Italian steelmaker Ilva, trade union sources said on Thursday. AIRBUS Boeing gave a further signal on Thursday that it is getting close to a decision on whether to further accelerate output of its popular 737 narrowbody jetliner, which could lift production to 52 a month. AEROPORTS DE PARIS The number of passengers passing through Paris' main airports rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in July to 9 million, ADP said. GDF SUEZ Belgian energy company Electrabel, a unit of GDF Suez, said its Doel 4 nuclear reactor would stay offline at least until the end of this year after major damage to its turbine, with the cause confirmed as sabotage. ROCHE Swiss drugmaker Roche said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the use of its Avastin cancer drug in combination with chemotherapy to treat advanced cervical cancer. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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