Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch up; Infineon eyed
PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch higher on Thursday, adding to recent lofty gains, with Infineon in focus after posting a sharp rise in operating profit. The auto and industrial chipmaker said its fiscal fourth-quarter operating profit rose 27 percent, boosted by increased demand from its industrial and security customers. However, the results were below analyst forecast. Shares in French spirits group Remy Cointreau will also be in focus on Thursday after it reported a 14.6 percent fall in first-half profit on Thursday, as a Chinese government crackdown on ostentatious spending hurt demand for its premium cognac. At 0718 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.2-0.3 percent. European stocks have been strongly rising in the past few weeks, lifted by the prospect of further measures from the ECB including quantitative easing. On Wednesday, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the bank might decide as early as the first quarter of next year whether to begin buying sovereign bonds, fuelling a rally in European shares. Shares in oil majors and oil services firms will be in the spotlight as Brent crude fell to a four-year low under $76.30 a barrel ahead of the OPEC meeting in Vienna. A number of oil services firms have been forced to scrap their dividend as the sector struggles with the slump in crude prices that has prompted oil majors to slash capital expenditure. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0720 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,072.83 0.28 % 5.8 NIKKEI 17248.5 -0.78 % -135.08 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 481.7 0.38 % 1.8 EUR/USD 1.2518 0.1 % 0.0013 USD/JPY 117.35 -0.31 % -0.3700 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.245 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.736 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,196.55 -0.09 % -$1.04 US CRUDE $72.83 -1.17 % -0.86 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA SHARES EDGE UP, OIL TUMBLES TO 4-YEAR LOW > US STOCKS-S&P 500 ENDS AT RECORD HIGH BOOSTED BY TECH SHARES > NIKKEI SAGS AS FUTURES-SELLING DEEPENS MORNING LOSSES > FOREX-DOLLAR DIPS VERSUS YEN, AUSSIE CLIMBS ON UPBEAT DATA > GOLD SLIPS FURTHER BELOW $1,200 AS FUND OUTFLOWS RESUME > COPPER EDGES OFF THREE-WEEK TROUGH, HELPED BY STIMULUS PROSPECTS > OIL PRICES FALL AS OPEC IS UNLIKELY TO CUT PRODUCTION COMPANY NEWS: INFINEON Auto and industrial chipmaker Infineon said on Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter operating profit rose on the back of increased demand from its industrial and security customers. NORSK HYDRO The group, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, will lift its capital expenditures by some 86 percent next year from this year, and said it expected higher metal prices to lift earnings for aluminium producers. REMY COINTREAU The French spirits group reported a 14.6 percent fall in first-half current operating profit on Thursday, as a Chinese government crackdown on ostentatious spending hurt demand for its premium cognac. CREDIT SUISSE Credit Suisse Group AG has reached a confidential settlement with Assured Guaranty Ltd AGO.N on claims related to what the insurer said were defective loans underlying mortgage-backed securities, court documents showed. NOVARTIS Novartis AG has agreed to sell its nicotine patch, Habitrol, in order to win U.S. antitrust approval for a consumer healthcare joint venture with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday. AIRBUS GROUP Indonesia's Lion Group is expected to sign a deal on Thursday to buy about 40 ATR 72-600 aircraft for nearly $1 billion at list prices, a source familiar with the matter said. ATR is co-owned by Airbus group and Italian industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica. AREVA The debt-laden French nuclear group's supervisory board put interim chairman and chief executive Philippe Knoche on a list of members of an executive board under a proposed new governance structure, clearing the way for his appointment as CEO next month. ELEKTA Medical technology group posted far lower than expected second-quarter core earnings on Thursday and cut its fiscal full-year sales and profit growth outlook sharply. LAURENT-PERRIER The champagne group posted a 4.8 percent rise in first-half sales and an operating margin of 20.9 percent, up from 19 percent in the same period a year ago. FCC The main shareholder of Spain's FCC FCC.MC has reached a deal with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to hand over its rights in a capital hike, El Confidencial said on Wednesday, paving the way for FCC to raise 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) to pay off debt. TOTAL Total restarted a furnace on the 151,000 barrel-per-day crude distillation unit at its 225,500 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, sources familiar with operations at the plant said. GLOBAL BIOENERGIES The company said it had succeeded in producing bio-sourced butadiene by direct fermentation. FAIVELEY TRANSPORT The company now expects full-year organic sales growth of 4-7 percent, up from a previous guidance of 1-4 percent, after it posted 10.1 percent growth in the first half. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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