European Factors to Watch-Shares set to rise; Generali eyed
PARIS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch higher on Wednesday, gaining ground for the third day in a row and tracking a rally on Wall Street where both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs, helped by recent M&A activity. The European insurance sector will be in the spotlight after Italy's Generali said it expected to achieve its targets for 2015 ahead of schedule and raise its dividend payout to more than 40 percent thanks to a stronger balance sheet. Banks will also be in focus after Spain's BBVA said on Wednesday it was in advanced talks with Dogus Holding over the possible acquisition of a 14.89 percent stake in Turkey's Garanti, raising its total stake to 39.9 percent. At 0735 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent, with Actavis Plc featuring among the biggest drivers, up 9 percent, a day after winning a takeover battle for peer Allergan . Tokyo's Nikkei index ended 0.3 percent lower, as investors booked recent sharp gains, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delayed a tax hike and said he would call a snap election to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies. The Nikkei is still up 19 percent since mid-October. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0747 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,051.80 0.51 % 10.48 NIKKEI 17288.75 -0.32 % -55.31 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 473.44 -0.54 % -2.58 EUR/USD 1.2519 -0.14 % -0.0017 USD/JPY 117.36 0.43 % 0.5000 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.315 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.791 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,193.63 -0.3 % -$3.62 US CRUDE $74.24 -0.5 % -0.37 > GLOBAL MARKETS-JAPANESE SHARES LOSE STEAM, ASIAN SHARES SLIP > US STOCKS-S&P 500, DOW END AT RECORD HIGHS, BOOSTED BY HEALTHCARE > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES DOWN 0.32 PCT > TREASURIES-YIELDS SLIP AFTER BENIGN U.S. PRODUCER PRICES > FOREX-YEN SLIPS IN WAKE OF JAPAN'S DECISION TO DELAY SALES TAX RISE > PRECIOUS-GOLD FALLS FROM NEAR 3-WEEK HIGH ON STRONGER DOLLAR > METALS-LONDON COPPER STEADIES; STIMULUS PROSPECTS SUPPORT > BRENT STEADY BELOW $79 AS DIVISIONS IN OPEC GROW COMPANY NEWS: HUGO BOSS German fashion house set a goal for sales growth to rise in coming years to the high-single digits and for an increase in its operating margin to 25 percent. BNP PARIBAS French prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into suspected insider trading by officials at French bank BNP Paribas, a source with knowledge of the inquiry said. AREVA The nuclear group suspended its 2015 and 2016 financial targets, blaming delays to a Finnish nuclear project, the slow restart of Japan's reactors and a lacklustre nuclear market. INTERTEK British product-testing company said it expected full-year organic revenue growth and operating margins to be in line with the previous year. GENERALI The Italian insurer said on Wednesday it expected to achieve its targets for 2015 ahead of schedule and raise its dividend payout to more than 40 percent thanks to a stronger balance sheet. BBVA BBVA said on Wednesday it was in advanced talks with Dogus Holding over the possible acquisition of a 14.89 percent stake in Turkey's Garanti, raising its total stake to 39.9 percent. ROYAL MAIL The mail group halved the expected growth rate of its UK parcels market to 1-2 percent on Wednesday due to fierce competition which helped send first-half operating profit down 21 percent. ICAP The world's largest interdealer broker reported an 9 percent fall on a constant currency basis in first-half revenue amid fragile market conditions. It also said it is in discussions to combine ICAP Shipping with Howe Robinson Group. BRITVIC The soft drinks manufacturer behind Robinsons and J2O, has begun a search for heavyweight figures to refresh its boardroom nearly a decade after it became a separately listed company, Sky News reported late on Tuesday. (bit.ly/1yPGMg5) GAGFAH The real estate company reported results and said it was on track to meet its earnings guidance through 2017. WIRECARD The payment company said Q3 earnings after tax rose to 29 million euros. It also forecast earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for the fiscal year 2015 of 205 million euros to 225 million euros. NUMERICABLE The French cable operator said its 4.7 billion euro rights issue has been 99.95 percent subscribed. EDF The French utility announced a new one-year delay for its Areva-designed EPR nuclear reactor in Flamanville, France, which it now expects to be connected to the grid in 2017, a decade after construction started. AKZO The Dutch chemicals company said that a Chicago, Illinois-based subsidiary had been defrauded of up to 53 million euros and that it had informed law enforcement authorities. AIRBUS The European planemaker aims to deliver the first A350 jetliner to launch customer Qatar Airways by mid-December, the airline said. SOITEC The semiconductor engineering company said its first-half operating loss narrowed to 84 million euros from 141 million a year ago as sales rose 16.5 percent to 106 million. It confirmed it is on track to return to a positive EBIT margin over the 2015-2016 financial year. GAMESA Spain's Gamesa said on Wednesday it has signed two contracts to supply wind generators with a combined capacity of 112 megawatts to Chinese groups CGN Wind Energy and Everbright. ARKEMA The firm launched a rights issue on Wednesday to raise around 350 million euros ($438 million) in a key step for the refinancing of the French chemicals group's 1.7 billion euro acquisition of adhesives company Bostik. MELROSE INDUSTRIES PLC British investment firm said it expects early next year to recommend the return of about 200 million pounds ($312.5 million) in capital to shareholders. SAAB Saab's deal to sell Gripen NG jets to Brazil could more than triple to eventually include the purchase of at least 108 aircraft, a senior Brazilian military officer said on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. UK BANKS British lawmakers will quiz top bankers in the wake of last week's $4.3 billion deal with regulators to settle allegations of collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. UK PUB COMPANIES British lawmakers on Tuesday voted to give people who lease pubs from big companies more freedom about where they buy their beer, overturning government plans for industry reforms. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by James Regan)
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