European Factors to Watch-Shares seen retreating from highs
LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to retreat on Monday, mirroring losses in Asia, with some investors seen taking profits from recent highs and ahead of crucial Chinese manufacturing data on Tuesday. Flash manufacturing PMI reading from China, the world's biggest metals consumer, could come in below the 50 level, indicating that manufacturing activity is contracting. China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Sunday the country will not dramatically alter its economic policy because of any one economic indicator, in remarks that came after many economists lowered growth forecasts having seen the latest set of weak data. "There isn't any specific reason for the declines although jitters ahead of the HSBC China Manufacturing data later this week and profit taking are being offered up as possible explanations," Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria said in a morning note. Futures for the euro zone's Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 were down 0.4 to 0.8 percent by 0625 GMT. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index climbed to a 6-1/2-year high on Friday after Scotland voted against independence. The index closed 0.3 percent higher on Friday. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.7 percent on Monday. Although the European stock market has climbed to new highs, the upward journey has been slow as investors have been cautious in putting strong bets due to concerns about the region's economy and the likely start of a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve from next year. The Group of 20 leading nations said they were tantalisingly close to adding an extra $2 trillion to the global economy and creating millions of new jobs, but Europe's extended stagnation remained a major stumbling block. On the mergers and acquisitions front, industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said on Monday it would buy U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc for $7.6 billion in a move that would significantly boost the German company's oil and gas business in North America. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0627 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.05 % -0.96 NIKKEI 16205.9 -0.71 % -115.27 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 487.52 -1.08 % -5.33 EUR/USD 1.2855 0.21 % 0.0027 USD/JPY 108.92 -0.08 % -0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.567 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.022 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,212.30 -0.32 % -$3.89 US CRUDE $91.82 -0.64 % -0.59 U.S. COMPANIES REPORTING : Q4 2014 AutoZone Inc. MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 1400 EZ Consumer Confidence 1400 US Existing Home Sales > ASIAN SHARES SLIP, DOLLAR PULLS AWAY FROM HIGHS > WALL ST FLAT AS ORACLE TAKES AIR OUT OF ALIBABA DEBUT > NIKKEI FALLS AS INVESTORS POCKET QUICK GAINS ON SOFTBANK > LONG-DATED TREASURIES RISE IN BARGAIN HUNTING FROM RECENT DIP > DOLLAR WELL BID ON FED OUTLOOK, NO G20 REPRIEVE FOR YEN > SILVER SLUMPS TO 4-YEAR LOW; GOLD LOOKS LIKELY TO TEST $1,200 > LONDON COPPER HITS 3-MONTH LOW ON DOLLAR, CHINA CONCERNS > BRENT FALLS BACK BELOW $98 ON SLUGGISH DEMAND, AMPLE SUPPLY COMPANY NEWS: SIEMENS, SULZER Industrial conglomerate Siemens said on Monday it would buy U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc for $7.6 billion in a move that would significantly boost the German company's oil and gas business in North America. Sulzer had confirmed last week that it was also in talks to merge with the U.S. group. Separately, Siemens said San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency awarded it a contract to deliver an initial 175 light rail cars for $648 million in one of the biggest orders for light rail cars ever placed in the United States. TESCO Britain's biggest grocer overstated its expected first-half profit by an estimated 250 million pounds (408.50 million US dollar) and has launched a review to find out why, it said on Monday. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, JULIUS BAER Swiss private bank Julius Baer is interested in acquiring Coutts International, a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland, but will not get into a bidding war for the venerable British bank's overseas arm, a Swiss paper reported on Sunday. For more, click on TELECOM ITALIA Brazilian regulators will now focus on whether Vivendi's minority stakes in Telefonica's local unit and Telecom Italia pose any risk to healthy competition, government sources said on Friday. ILIAD, DEUTSCHE TELEKOM, French low-cost telecom operator Iliad has set a mid-October deadline to decide whether to improve its bid for T-Mobile US or walk away as it faces resistance from seller Deutsche Telekom, several people familiar with the situation said. FIAT The automaker will temporarily suspend production at its Pomigliano plant in southern Italy from Oct. 16-27 amid weak demand, a union representative said on Friday. AIR FRANCE-KLM Air France, part of Air France-KLM, expects to operate 41 percent of its flights on Monday as a pilots strike over cost cuts and plans for the company's budget Transavia unit enters its second week. PRADA The luxury goods company cut its 2014 revenue guidance on Friday due to weaker than expected consumer demand as it posted a 21 percent fall in net profit for the first half. AIRBUS Germany's defence ministry is demanding price cuts and longer cancellation periods on the A400M military airlifters it has ordered from Airbus, but which will be delivered later and less equipped than planned, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported. BAYER The drugmaker's Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung he expects the group's plastics business to become a member of Germany's blue-chip index DAX, once the unit is listed on the stock market. Related news COMMERZBANK The lender is looking into moving some of its back-office operations in London to another country to cut costs, daily Handelsblatt cited financial sources as saying in its Monday edition. Commerzbank declined to comment to the paper. Related news DAIMLER Ola Kaellenius, head of sales at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz business, expects the company's vehicle sales growth in Europe to continue this year, he told daily Die Welt. Related news CERMAQ Mitsubishi Corp plans to launch a tender offer for Norway's Cermaq in which it would spend up to 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for over 90 percent of the Norwegian fish-farming company, Japan's Nikkei business daily reported. DEUTSCHE BANK A Sydney-based foreign exchange trader at Deutsche Bank was dismissed after the bank discovered irregularities in the reporting of his trading activities in June. THYSSENKRUPP The steelmaker is contacting potential investors regarding the sale of its VDM alloy unit, daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday. Several industry players and financial investors were interested, the paper said. VOLKSWAGEN The carmaker will launch a VW-badged luxury sedan designed solely for China next year in its pursuit of higher margins, said two people with knowledge of the plan, in a move that could put it in direct competition with its premium brand Audi. RHEINMETALL Germany's defence industry is looking into shifting production abroad in response to the country's restrictive arms export policy, Armin Papperger, the chief executive of Rheinmetall and head the German defence industry association, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday. SEADRILL Billionaire investor John Fredriksen is considering buying more shares in oil rig operator Seadrill after the stock's sharp fall this year, Norwegian business daily Finansavisen reported on Monday. ACS Affiliate of Spanish constructor ACS, Dragados, has been short listed to build 11 football stadiums in Saudi Arabia for between 2 billion and 3 billion euros, el Confidencial reported without citing sources. BBVA Spain's second-biggest bank BBVA is exploring the sale of its debt collection business, business daily Expansion said on Saturday, citing unnamed sources. AXA The insurer said its agreement with Astra Asigurari to sell its Life & Savings insurance operations in Romania, announced last November, had lapsed and that it was "reviewing its strategic options" for the business. LAFARGE The cement maker said it sold its 47 percent stake in its Mexico cement operations to joint venture partner Elementia, an industrial conglomerate partly owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, for $225 million in cash, in a move that will help it reduce its debt. VINCI The French construction and concessions group said it agreed to buy engineering, construction and maintenance services business Electrix from South Africa's Aveng. Electrix generated revenue of around 280 million euros in 2013. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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