European Factors to Watch-Shares set to edge up; France in focus after GDP beat
(Rewrites throughout; adds futures, further company news) LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - European shares were indicated to edge higher at the open on Friday, with French stocks in focus after a slightly better-than-expected economic output reading for the euro zone's second-largest economy and a guidance hike at conglomerate Bouygues. At 0721, futures for France's CAC equity index were 0.4 percent higher, with contracts on the euro zone Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE 100 up 0.1-0.3 percent. The French economy eked out 0.3 percent growth in the third quarter, lifted by public spending and consumer shopping as well as stock variations, while investment and real estate kept contracting and weighing on the euro zone's second-largest economy. Investors were set to focus on euro zone inflation figures for October, due at 1000 GMT and expected to show a 0.4 percent increase year on year. French conglomerate Bouygues raised its full-year sales forecast on Friday after it posted better-than-expected sales in the third quarter despite a weaker construction market and a price war in telecoms in France. Paris-listed Airbus Group reported a stronger-than-expected nine-month underlying operating profit, led by its planemaking and helicopter divisions, but warned of a possible accounting from production delays in its A400M military airlifter. COMPANY NEWS GLAXOSMITHKLINE Apollo Global Management is planning to bid for all GlaxoSmithKline's mature drugs, joining an auction expected to value the business at more than $3 billion, according to four people familiar with the process. AIRBUS GROUP Europe's largest aerospace group reported a 12 percent rise in nine-month underlying operating profit led by its planemaking and helicopter divisions, and reaffirmed its profit forecasts for the year. In the third quarter, Airbus Group posted operating profit of 744 million euros, up 14 percent, and flat sales. GLENCORE PLC The world's largest exporter of thermal coal plans to shut its Australian mines for three weeks to help attack a crippling global supply glut that has pushed prices to 5-1/2 year lows. BOUYGUES French conglomerate Bouygues raised its full-year sales forecast on Friday after it posted better-than-expected sales in the third quarter despite a weaker construction market and a price war in telecoms in France. JULIUS BAER Julius Baer said on Friday overall client assets rose 12 percent in the first ten months of the year over last year, helped by fresh client money, a strong US dollar, and the acquisition of Brazilian wealth manager GPS earlier this year. LLOYDS BANKING GROUP The bank is shedding 1,250 jobs as it cuts costs and changes the way it sells insurance products in its branches, the Guardian reported. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND Royal Bank of Scotland securities unit will now exit its U.S. mortgage trading business after originally planning to shrink it by two-thirds. BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO The company has been fined by HM Revenue & Customs for oversupplying cigarettes into Belgium which can be smuggled back into the UK, the Times reported. BT The company is planning to scrap its Wholesale unit and fold the multi-billion-pound business into Openreach, the monopoly division that controls Britain's national telecoms infrastructure, the Telegraph reported. CLUB MED Chinese conglomerate Fosun has until Dec. 1 to come up with a fresh counterbid for Club Mediterranee after regulators extended the deadline in the long-running battle for the French holiday group. LAGARDERE Hachette Book Group, a unit of France's Lagardere, and Amazon.com Inc said they reached a multi-year agreement for e-book and print book sales after months of fighting that pitted authors, agents and publishers against the world's largest online retail store. Lagardere also confirmed its full-year profit target. BP A U.S. judge weighing how much BP Plc should be punished for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Thursday refused to overturn his own finding that the oil company's conduct was "grossly negligent." BAE SYSTEMS The U.S. unit of Britain's BAE Systems on Thursday filed suit in a U.S. federal court to block South Korea's demand that the company pay $43.26 million to Seoul for costs incurred in a now-canceled program to upgrade F-16 fighter jets. RWE The utility is mulling to cut its dividend by a fifth to 80 euro cents ($1) a share in the medium term, German daily Rheinische Post reported, citing supervisory board sources. ENEL The funds that Italian utility Enel will raise from selling shares of its Spanish subsidiary, Endesa ELE.MC, will mostly go to paying off debt, with some also earmarked for its Latin American operations, Enel's chief executive said on Thursday. SAP Oracle Corp and SAP have settled long-running copyright litigation for $356.7 million over improper downloads of Oracle files, ending a fierce legal battle between the two enterprise software rivals. SAAB The Swedish defense firm last week submitted a bid to build new submarines for Australia, business daily Dagens Industri quoted Gunilla Fransson, head of Business Area Security and Defence Solutions at Saab, as saying. MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0900 IT GDP Preliminary Q3 0930 GB Construction Sep 1000 EZ GDP Flash Estimate Q3 1000 EZ Inflation Oct ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0624 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,039.33 0.05 % 1.08 NIKKEI 17490.83 0.56 % 98.04 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 479.15 -0.34 % -1.62 EUR/USD 1.2429 -0.37 % -0.0046 USD/JPY 116.25 0.45 % 0.5200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.352 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.797 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,154.30 -0.63 % -$7.28 US CRUDE $73.93 -0.38 % -0.28 > ASIA SLIPS IN WAKE OF SOFT DATA, OIL STUCK NEAR LOWS > DOW AT RECORD BUT S&P FLAT AS ENERGY WEIGHS > NIKKEI PULLS BACK FROM 7-YEAR HIGH ON PROFIT-TAKING BEFORE GDP DATA > BOND PRICES EDGE HIGHER AFTER NEW SUPPLY, RETAIL SALES EYED > DOLLAR REFRESHES 7-YR HIGH VS YEN, JAPAN POLITICS IN SPOTLIGHT > GOLD SET FOR THIRD WEEKLY DROP IN FOUR ON DOLLAR STRENGTH > LME COPPER SET FOR BIGGEST WEEKLY DROP SINCE SEPTEMBER > BRENT EDGES ABOVE $78, STILL NEAR FOUR-YEAR LOW ON GLUT (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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