European Factors to Watch-Weak results set up Europe for weaker start
(Adds further company news) LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling on Thursday as weak results from French tyre-maker Michelin and consumer goods group Unilever added to a subdued tone for global equities overnight. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 were down between 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent at 0619 GMT. Michelin was set to be in the spotlight as it cut its full-year sales goal and said it would rein in investment after third-quarter sales fell 4.6 percent, weighed down by an emerging-market slump and weaker European truck tyre demand. Unilever reported a weaker-than-expected 2.1 percent rise in third-quarter sales on Thursday as a slowdown in emerging markets continued to crimp performance. European indexes were set to mirror a late selloff on Wall Street, where Boeing and Biogen sold off after results and energy stocks fell along with oil prices, and falls in Asian shares after mixed Chinese data. Caution prevailed in Europe, too, ahead of French business climate data at 0645 GMT, followed by a raft of business activity surveys from the euro zone's largest economies between 0700 GMT and 0800 GMT. The Euro STOXX 50 index had risen 0.6 percent on Wednesday, extending its bounce from a 13-month low hit last week. Merger & acquisition activity was once again in focus. Private equity firms are circling Bayer's 10 billion-euro ($12.7 billion) plastics business, hoping to divert the German drugmaker from its plan to list the division, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. A consortium of buyout firms Advent International Corp and Avista Capital Partners is in advanced talks to acquire UCB SA's U.S. generic drugs unit Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0447 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,927.11 -0.73 % -14.17 NIKKEI 15112.72 -0.55 % -83.05 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 472.21 -0.38 % -1.82 EUR/USD 1.2637 -0.09 % -0.0011 USD/JPY 107.23 0.08 % 0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.211 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 0.863 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,242.44 0.15 % $1.89 US CRUDE $80.43 -0.11 % -0.09 > ASIA STOCKS HOBBLED BY GROWTH WOES, CHINA PMI FAILS TO IMPRESS > WALL ST ENDS LOWER AFTER SHOOTING AT CANADIAN PARLIAMENT > NIKKEI SLIPS AFTER OIL PRICES DROP, WALL STREET SHARES FALL > U.S. BOND PRICES FALL AS CONSUMER PRICES SHOW PULSE > DOLLAR HOLDS STEADY, SUPPORTED BY TREASURY YIELDS,SAGGING EURO > GOLD STEADIES ABOVE $1,240 AS ASIAN EQUITIES SLIDE > LONDON COPPER EDGES UP AFTER CHINA FACTORY DATA > BRENT SLIPS TOWARDS $84 ON SHARP RISE IN U.S. CRUDE STOCKS COMPANY NEWS: NOKIA Nokia on Thursday beat market expectations as it reported strong third-quarter profit growth and lifted the profitability outlook for its core network unit on the back of network roll-outs in North America and China. UNILEVER Unilever reported a weaker-than-expected 2.1 percent rise in third-quarter sales on Thursday as a slowdown in emerging markets continued to crimp performance. REED ELSEVIER Anglo Dutch Reed Elsevier said a 4 percent rise in underlying revenue in the first nine months kept it on track to meet its goal of growing revenue and profit this year. TESCO Britain's biggest grocer reported a larger than expected hole in its accounts on Thursday, forcing it to scrap its full-year trading profit outlook. CREDIT SUISSE The Swiss bank was cautiously optimistic for the year-end, as it posted third-quarter profit that beat expectations on Thursday. LLOYDS BANKING GROUP Lloyds Banking Group will next week announce plans to cut 9,000 jobs over the next three years, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. MICHELIN French tyremaker Michelin cut its full-year sales goal and said it would rein in investment after third-quarter sales fell 4.6 percent, weighed down by an emerging-market slump and weaker European truck tyre demand. DAIMLER Daimler's third quarter operating profit rose 67 percent, in part helped by launches of new models like the best-selling C-Class, which helped the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars buck a trend of slowing demand for passenger cars. PERNOD RICARD French spirits group Pernod Ricard posted a 2 percent rise in first-quarter underlying sales on Thursday, beating market expectations, as demand slightly improved in Asia. NESTE OIL Finland's Neste Oil raised on Thursday it's full year comparable operating profit to above 400 million euros from below after reporting better than expected third quarter results. ASSA ABLOY The world's biggest lock maker posted on Thursday a third-quarter operating profit marginally above expectations and like-for-like sales growth in line with forecasts. SAFRAN The aerospace and defence contractor reported third-quarter revenue up 6.8 percent and reaffirmed its profitability target for the year, while expressing concerns over "significant uncertainty" in the pace of revenue payments from governments. GEMALTO Franco-Dutch technology firm Gemalto said its third-quarter revenue rose 6 percent on a constant currency basis, helped by strong sales of chip-enabled credit cards. E.ON German utility E.ON and gas firm VNG AG have sold their jointly owned regional gas grid EVG Thueringen to First State Investments, the asset management arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), E.ON said. BAYER Private equity firms are circling Bayer's 10 billion-euro ($12.7 billion) plastics business, hoping to divert the German drugmaker from its plan to list the division, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. ORANGE SA France's largest telecom operator, posted quarterly results largely in line with expectations but relied on steeper cost-cutting to stabilise profit margins, even as it reported rising subscriptions to its faster 4G mobile services. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM France's Orange said the best option for its EE joint venture with Deutsche Telekom was to keep the current capital structure at this stage. TELE2 Swedish telecom operator Tele2 said it was confident it would reach the upper end of its 2014 forecasts after posting third-quarter core earnings and sales well above expectations, boosted by higher use of mobile data services. DNB Norway's largest bank reported third-quarter earnings well ahead of expectations on Thursday and said its loan losses would be below last year's level. UCB SA A consortium of buyout firms Advent International Corp and Avista Capital Partners is in advanced talks to acquire UCB SA's U.S. generic drugs unit Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE Fresenius Medical Care has agreed to buy National Cardiovascular Partners (NCP) to expand the range of services it offers linked to its core business of kidney dialysis. LUXOTTICA The world's largest eyewear group named a senior Procter & Gamble manager as its new co-chief executive on Wednesday seeking to solve a governance crisis after losing two chief executives in the span of six weeks. REE Spanish electricity grid operator Red Electrica said late on Wednesday that it would receive a compensation payment of around $35 million from the Bolivian government for the expropriation of its local unit in 2012. INDITEX Spanish clothing company and owner of the Zara brand, Inditex, has named Maria Fanjul, 31, as head of its fast growing online business, Expansion said. ACS ACS is postponing the listing of its renewables assets until at least the beginning of next year, El Confidencial says, citing financial sources. TELEKOM AUSTRIA America Movil unit Telekom Austria boosted third-quarter underlying operating profit by nearly 16 percent on slightly higher sales, it said on Thursday, keeping its full-year outlook. NESTLE Nestle has no plans to close any of its eight factories or curb output in cocoa and coffee-rich West and Central Africa because of Ebola, but is ready to adapt if it spreads, the Chief Executive of the world's largest food company said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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