Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to halt pullback after Chinese data
PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open mixed on Tuesday, halting the previous session's pull-back after data showed China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly picked up some momentum, beating the market's bleak expectations. At 0610 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 to up 0.1 percent. China's HSBC flash reading on manufacturing (PMI) for September rose to 50.5, from 50.2 in August and confounding forecasts for a dip to 50.0. . "There was some nervous trading going into this reading after a string of disappointing data out of China recently," IG market strategist Stan Shamu wrote in a note. "With rumours that China is conceding defeat and will officially lower its growth target, along with speculation there won't be further China stimulus, it was crucial for today's reading to show some positive signs." However, Tuesday's Chinese PMI showed a measure of employment shed more than a point to drop to 46.9, its lowest since February 2009 during the global financial crisis, when a collapse in exports threw tens of millions of Chinese out of work European shares sank on Monday, led lower by mining heavyweights such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, as concern over the pace of growth in China knocked down commodity prices. Tuesday's focus will also be on manufacturing data for Germany, France and the euro zone. The banking sector will be in the spotlight after Raiffeisen Bank International warned that hits from Ukraine and Hungary will likely push the Austrian lender to its first-ever annual loss in 2014. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0620 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,994.29 -0.8 % -16.11 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 487.69 0.16 % 0.77 EUR/USD 1.2848 -0.01 % -0.0001 USD/JPY 108.71 -0.12 % -0.1300 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.566 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.013 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,216.80 0.17 % $2.11 US CRUDE $91.24 0.41 % 0.37 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA RELIEVED AS CHINA PMI BEATS LOW EXPECTATIONS > US STOCKS-HOUSING DATA HITS WALL ST; S&P HAS WORST DAY SINCE AUG 5 > TREASURIES-BOND YIELDS DIP ON EXPECTATION OF DOVISH FED, WEAK DATA > FOREX-DOLLAR RALLY PAUSES; AUSSIE EDGES UP AFTER FLASH CHINA PMI > PRECIOUS-GOLD STRUGGLES NEAR 8-1/2-MONTH LOWS ON FUND OUTFLOWS > METALS-COPPER BOUNCES FROM 3-MTH LOW AFTER CHINA FLASH PMI DATA > BRENT CLIMBS ABOVE $97 AFTER UPBEAT CHINA PMI COMPANY NEWS: RAIFFEISEN BANK INTERNATIONAL Hits from Ukraine and Hungary will likely push Austrian lender to its first-ever annual loss in 2014, it said late on Monday. SACYR, REPSOL Spanish builder Sacyr is looking at selling part of its Repsol stake before the end of the year to pay down more than 10 percent of its 2.3 billion euro debt pile, Expansion reported citing financial sources. MICHELIN French tyre maker Michelin may miss its goal for an improvement in sales volume of 3 percent this year amid weak European and emerging markets, Finance Chief Marc Henry told Les Echos daily. SANTANDER, UNICREDIT Spanish bank Santander has emerged as the frontrunner to buy a stake of up to 50 percent in Italian bank Unicredit's asset management division Pioneer, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Monday. AIR FRANCE A bitter Air France labour dispute deepened on Monday as management pledged to press ahead with its low-cost airline ambitions and pilots said that an eight day-old strike over the proposals would continue indefinitely as a result. BNP PARIBAS BNP Paribas SA's board will decide on the departure and the successor of its chairman Baudouin Prot this week, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on Monday. TELEFONICA Mexico has received its first bid from a consortium to build a $10 billion state-owned mobile network. If successful, the state-owned network would help No. 2 mobile carrier Telefonica and third-ranked Iusacell to compete with Carlos Slim's America Movil by giving them better coverage without having to bear the cost of building the network. REXEL Rexel's top shareholder, Ray Investment, said on Tuesday it had sold its remaining 7.13 percent stake in the electrical equipment supplier at 15.35 euros per share. POPULAR Spanish lender Banco Popular said on Monday it had signed a definitive agreement to buy Citi's retail banking and credit card business in Spain for 238.5 million euros. EDF European Union state aid regulators will clear Britain's proposal to build a 16 billion pound nuclear plant with French utility EDF, a European Commission official said on Monday. TOTAL French oil major Total has been made a formal offer by mid-sized French refiner Rubis to buy its stake in the SARA refinery in the French Caribbean island of Martinique. CREDIT AGRICOLE French bank Credit Agricole said on Monday it had acquired 1.5 percent of Italian banking group Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA (Cariparma), bringing its total ownership stake in the group to 76.5 percent. STANDARD CHARTERED Standard Chartered is in advanced talks to sell its Hong Kong consumer finance business to finance firm Pepper Australia Pty Ltd in a deal that could fetch between $500 million to $700 million, people familiar with the deal said. BARCLAYS PLC Britain's financial watchdog will fine Barclays 38 million pounds ($62.16 million) for failing to ensure that customer money was properly safeguarded and adequate records kept, said a source familiar with the situation. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC A U.S. appeals court on Monday revived lawsuits against RBS's National Westminster Bank by about 200 victims of attacks in Israel attributed to Hamas who are seeking to hold the bank liable for handling transactions linked to the group. BHP BILLITON BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi will cut about 700 jobs at coal mines they operate jointly in Australia, with the two companies citing over-staffing in tough market conditions threatening the viability of the business. DIXONS CARPHONE PLC Dixons Carphone plans to make a statement on Tuesday that it is still interested in acquiring between 50 and 100 shops from Phones 4u's, according to sources close to the matter. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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