European Factors to Watch-Shares to edge lower; Shire seen slumping
LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen opening flat on Wednesday as some upbeat results from French consumer groups helped lift an otherwise subdued market sentiment after some late profit taking on Wall Street. The UK healthcare sector was set to come under pressure, with Shire indicated to open down as much as 20 percent after AbbVie Inc said it intended to reconsider its recommendation to its shareholders to vote in favor of the 32 billion pound ($54.7 billion) merger with the UK group. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were unchanged at 0635 GMT. French food group Danone posted a better-than-expected underlying rise in third-quarter sales on Wednesday, helped by improving baby food sales in Asia. Retailer Casino also posted sales slightly ahead of expectations but recorded a slowdown in Brazil, its biggest market, and weaker sales at home, resulting from low consumer confidence and poor summer weather. The world's biggest luxury group LVMH posted improved sales growth for the third quarter on Tuesday although it highlighted an uncertain economic and financial environment. The Euro STOXX 50 index has fallen 9 percent since mid September as economic data from the region's largest economy, including Germany, continued to worsen and stimulus measures unveiled by the European Central Bank, including a programme to buy asset-backed securities and covered bonds, failed to reassure the market. Investors will be watching out for any sign that the ECB is prepared to do more to stimulate the region's economy when President Mario Draghi speaks at an event in Germany at 0700 GMT. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0635 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,877.70 0.16 % 2.96 NIKKEI 15073.52 0.92 % 137.01 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 466.33 0.38 % 1.77 EUR/USD 1.2644 -0.11 % -0.0014 USD/JPY 107.33 0.27 % 0.2900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.224 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 0.839 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,226.70 -0.46 % -$5.65 US CRUDE $82.02 0.22 % 0.18 > ASIA EDGY ON LINGERING GROWTH ANXIETY, CHINA INFLATION SLOWS > S&P 500, NASDAQ BREAK 3-DAY SLIDE BUT DOW DIPS > NIKKEI MAY SNAP 5-DAY LOSING STREAK; GLOBAL GROWTH WORRIES PERSIST > U.S. LONG BOND YIELDS UNDER 3 PCT ON ECONOMIC SLOWING, SHORT-COVERING > DOLLAR STANDS TALL AS EURO HIT BY ECONOMIC GLOOM, YEN ALSO WILTS > GOLD DIPS BUT GLOBAL GROWTH WORRIES COULD SUPPORT > COPPER HOVERS NEAR FOUR-WEEK PEAK, SUPPLY IN FOCUS > BRENT RECOVERS ABOVE $85 AFTER BIGGEST FALL IN THREE YEARS COMPANY NEWS: LVMH - The world's biggest luxury group, posted improved sales growth for the third quarter on Tuesday as stronger trading in Europe and the United States helped make up for weakness in Asia. DANONE - The French food group posted a better-than-expected 6.9 percent underlying rise in third-quarter sales on Wednesday, helped by improving baby food sales in Asia. CASINO - The retailer said sales growth slowed sharply in the third quarter, reflecting a slowdown in Brazil, its biggest market, and weaker sales at home resulting from low consumer confidence and poor summer weather. SHIRE - AbbVie Inc said it intends to reconsider its recommendation to its shareholders to vote in favor of the 32 billion pound ($54.7 billion) merger with Shire Plc due to the changing U.S. tax regulations. RIO TINTO - The world's No. 2 iron ore miner said a strong third quarter and productivity gains led to a 12 percent rise in iron ore production as price volatility persists in the global market. BARCLAYS - Barclays' auction of its index business, which includes the widely used Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, has hit a snag, after would-be buyers realized some crucial bond pricing data that does not belong to the British bank will not be part of the package, two people familiar with the situation said. ASML HOLDING - ASML confirmed its full-year sales guidance on Wednesday, citing a solid backlog. BALFOUR BEATTY PLC - Balfour Beatty will hand over the reins of the British construction group on Wednesday to the chief executive of defence research firm Qinetiq Group Plc QQ.L, Sky News said. OMV - Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss will leave the Austrian energy group as of mid-2015, nearly two years ahead of schedule, as part of a management shakeup which will also see OMV's gas business subsumed into a new division, OMV said. CORPORACION FINANCIERA ALBA, FERROVIAL - Spain will sell a 21 percent stake in its state-owned airports operator Aena to Corporacion Financiera Alba, Ferrovial and British investment fund TCI, Aena's holding company Enaire said on Tuesday. FINMECCANICA - Finmeccanica has shortlisted China's CNR Corporation and Hitachi of Japan to buy its rail assets but binding offers have not yet been presented, Chief Executive Mauro Moretti said on Tuesday in a parliamentary hearing. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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