European Factors to Watch-Shares seen opening lower ahead of ECB
(Adds futures prices, trader comment, company news items) LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - European equity futures slipped lower on Thursday, with some traders expressing nervousness that the European Central Bank's (ECB) meeting later in the day may not deliver the further monetary policy easing measures sought by many investors. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract edged down by 0.2 percent. Germany's DAX futures contract also weakened by 0.2 percent while France's CAC futures contract also fell 0.2 percent. The ECB is set to stick to the policy path laid out over the summer when it meets on Thursday, waiting for its stimulus to unfold before considering further steps, and keeping interest rates at record lows. More drastic measures in the form of outright purchases of sovereign bonds - as deployed by other major central banks to boost their economies - still remain distant in the euro zone, mainly due to political hurdles, especially in Germany. The November policy meeting also takes place against a backdrop of meager growth prospects for the euro zone and mounting discomfort among Governing Council members over ECB President Mario Draghi's leadership style. "There's a little bit of nervousness ahead of the ECB. The market wants there to be more monetary easing, but we may not get that," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management. Results from leading European companies on Thursday were mixed. While banks such as Societe Generale and Commerzbank posted higher profits, engineering group Siemens missed market expectations for its fourth-quarter core profits and sportswear group Adidas expected sales growth to slow in 2015. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) COMPANY NEWS: ASTRAZENECA : AstraZeneca raised its 2014 sales forecast for the second quarter in a row on Thursday, as the delayed arrival of Nexium generics in the United States kept cash flowing from the heartburn and ulcer pill. ADECCO : Adecco, the world's biggest staffing firm by sales, said revenue growth slowed in the third quarter, hurt by weaker-than-expected growth in France and Germany. ADIDAS : German sportswear firm Adidas AG, struggling to keep pace with larger U.S. rival Nike, said it expected sales growth to slow in 2015 as it reported third-quarter results in line with forecasts. COMMERZBANK : Commerzbank's third-quarter net profit tripled to 225 million euros as earnings in its corporate and retail banking units rose and due to a steep fall off in bad loans. CREDIT AGRICOLE : French lender Credit Agricole posted a 4 percent increase in quarterly earnings on Thursday as a strong insurance and asset management performance outweighed weakness in its home retail market. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM : Deutsche Telekom reported a 1.8 percent drop in quarterly core profit as investments in Germany and the United States weighed amid slightly higher sales. GENERALI : Italian insurer Generali said on Thursday its operating profit in the first nine months rose 12.8 percent, boosted by a solid performance in both life and non-life business. HEIDELBERGCEMENT : German cement maker HeidelbergCement posted a better than expected 10 percent rise in core profit as it pushed through price increases in North America, Britain and Indonesia. HERMES : French luxury goods company Hermes on Thursday posted an 11 percent rise in like-for-like third-quarter sales, driven by robust demand for its leather goods and ready-to-wear. OMV : Austrian oil and gas group OMV said on Thursday it may not hit its target of producing 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) by 2016 if it put the brakes on its investment programme. SIEMENS : German engineering group Siemens missed expectations for fourth-quarter core profit, hurt by charges for faulty wind turbines that pushed its wind power division to a loss. SOCIETE GENERALE : Societe Generale, France's second-biggest listed bank, posted a 57 percent rise in the third-quarter net profit as a drop in loan-loss provisions helped offset revenue weakness in French retail banking and equities trading. ZURICH INSURANCE : Zurich Insurance Group posted a bigger-than-expected 16 percent fall in third-quarter net profit on Thursday, as the company released less money set aside to pay off claims. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0721 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,023.57 0.57 % 11.47 NIKKEI 16,792.48 -0.86 % -144.84 EUR/USD 1.2516 0.25 % 0.0031 USD/JPY 114.43 -0.17 % -0.2000 10-YR US TSY 2.332 -- -0.02 YLD 10-YR BUND YLD 0.823 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,144.20 0.28 % $3.24 US CRUDE $78.69 0.01 % 0.01 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES SLIP AS CHINA CONCERNS TRUMP U.S. OPTIMISM > U.S. STOCKS-DOW, S&P 500 CLOSE AT RECORDS AFTER MIDTERM VOTE > NIKKEI SKIDS AS INVESTORS BOOK GAINS; SUNTORY SHINES > TREASURIES-U.S. YIELDS EDGE UP ON ADP JOBS DATA, STOCK GAINS > DOLLAR STUMBLES AFTER KICKING HIGHER, EURO COWERS AS ECB LOOMS > GOLD, SILVER NEAR 4-1/2 YEAR LOWS AS DOLLAR STRENGTH BITES > GOLD, SILVER NEAR 4-1/2 YEAR LOWS AS DOLLAR STRENGTH BITES > BRENT GAINS AFTER US CRUDE STOCKS DATA, TRADES ABOVE $83 (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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