PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Wednesday, reversing most of the previous session’s losses, as a raft of positive results from companies including Alstom and Lundin Petroleum help lift sentiment.
At 0725 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK’s FTSE 100, for Germany’s DAX and for France’s CAC were up 0.5-0.9 percent.
European shares fell on Tuesday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares losing 1 percent, after Reuters reported that central bankers in the euro area planned to challenge European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi over his secretive management style.
On the earnings front on Wednesday, French power and engineering group Alstom said it expects “high single-digit” percentage growth in full-year sales and positive operating free cash flow after revenue rose 13 percent in the first half of its fiscal year.
German reinsurer Hannover Re said its net profit rose by a forecast-beating 21 percent to 251 million euros ($315 million) in the third quarter, as premium and investment income growth exceeded expectations.
About half way into Europe’s earnings season, 64 percent of companies managed to meet or beat profit forecasts, and 59 percent met or beat revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
In absolute terms, profits are up 13 percent, while revenues are down 0.2 percent, highlighting the fact that Europe’s earnings rebound has mostly been coming from cost-cutting and lower financing costs.
A dip in the euro on Wednesday, hovering around a 2-year low against the dollar, was also seen as positive for Europe’s profit outlook.
The dollar and U.S. stock futures pushed higher on Wednesday after Republicans scored a sweeping victory in U.S. mid-term elections, fuelling hopes for an end to political gridlock in Washington.
Resource-related shares will be under renewed pressure, however, as Brent crude dropped towards $82 a barrel and metal prices fell following weak economic data from top commodity consumer China, which added to worries about demand in a market that is already battling a deepening global supply glut.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES SAG, DOLLAR STEADIES > US STOCKS-S&P 500, NASDAQ SLIP; FALLING OIL PRICES WEIGH ON ENERGY > NIKKEI STRIKES 7-YR HIGH AS DOLLAR BASHES YEN; FAST RETAILING SHINES > TREASURIES-U.S. YIELDS SLIP ON LOWER OIL, EUROPE WORRIES > FOREX-DOLLAR RALLY PAUSES AS EURO FINDS SOME SUPPORT ON ECB REPORT > PRECIOUS-GOLD, SILVER SLUMP TO FRESH 4-YEAR LOWS AS SELL-OFF EXTENDS > COPPER SLIPS TO NEAR 2-WEEK LOW AFTER CHINA DATA, OIL ROUT > BRENT DROPS TOWARD $82 ON WEAK CHINA DATA, SUPPLY GLUT
The Swedish oil producer reported third-quarter earnings above expectations on Wednesday and kept its forecasts for production this year and next.
The French power and engineering group said it expects “high single-digit” percentage growth in full-year sales and positive operating free cash flow after revenue rose 13 percent in the first half of its fiscal year.
The French cement maker, which is preparing to merge with Swiss-based Holcim , confirmed its 550 million euro ($690 million) 2015 cost-saving goal on Wednesday as it delivered third-quarter profits in line with expectations.
ING Group, the largest Dutch lender, on Wednesday missed analysts’ consensus forecasts for its third-quarter results, even as net profits rose compared to the same period last year.
The specialty steelmaker said on Tuesday its operating income in the six months to end-September rose 12.2 percent to 444.7 million euros ($557.65 million).
Belgian insurance company Ageas firmly beat expectations for profit in the third quarter as both its life and non-life businesses fared well and Belgian and Chinese earnings were strong.
German reinsurer Hannover Re’s net profit rose by a forecast-beating 21 percent to 251 million euros ($315 million) in the third quarter, as premium and investment income growth exceeded expectations.
Italian utility Enel said on Wednesday it would place on the market an initial 17 percent stake in Endesa, that could be raised to a maximum 22 percent as it seeks to increase the Spanish unit’s free float and cut its own debt.
Australia’s Transfield Services Ltd TSE.AX, which runs the country’s offshore refugee detention centres, said it won’t negotiate with Spain’s Ferrovial over a $873.60 million takeover approach until it agrees not to buy its shares for three months.
The Pimco Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund posted its second straight month of outflows in October, totalling $437 million compared with $631 million outflow in September, according to Morningstar data on Tuesday.
Swiss drugmaker Roche will spend 450 million Swiss francs ($470 million) over the next three years to build a new diagnostics manufacturing facility in China to meet rising Asian demand for clinical tests, the company said on Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has nearly doubled his voting stake in the carmaker after exercising stock options and cashing in on a share price jump after a plan to spin off Ferrari was unveiled last week. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash)