European Factors to Watch-Shares set to extend rebound
PARIS Oct 22 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Wednesday, extending their rebound started late last week, boosted by positive corporate results as well as expectations of further action by the European Central Bank to support the region's economy.
Sources told Reuters on Tuesday the ECB is considering buying corporate bonds on the secondary market - a step that would help banks free up more of their balance sheets for lending - and may decide on the matter as soon as December with a view to begin purchases early next year, sparking a rally in European banking shares.
"Reports that the ECB was looking to purchase corporate bonds in the secondary market gave the bulls the green light for a rally," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria said in a note.
At 0613 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.6 percent.
Nordic stocks will be in focus after a raft of better-than-expected results from companies including Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro, Swedish bank Handelsbanken and Marine Harvest, the world's largest fish farmer.
So far in Europe's earnings season, 9 percent of STOXX 600 companies have reported results, of which 65 percent have met or beaten profit forecasts, according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine.
Heineken, the world's third largest brewer, bucked the trend, reporting lower-than-expected beer sales in the third quarter as wet weather reduced drinking in Europe, but retained its full-year outlook.
The auto sector will be in the spotlight after PSA Peugeot Citroen said group sales rose 1.6 percent in the third quarter, but a push to raise pricing failed to deliver higher revenue at its core manufacturing arm.