Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip; Italy eyed after downgrade

lunes 8 de diciembre de 2014 03:49 GYT
 

PARIS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open slightly lower on
Monday, taking a breather following the previous session sharp rally as soft
macro data from China and Japan revived concerns over the pace of global growth.
    Italian equities will be in focus after S&P on Friday cut the country's
sovereign credit rating from BBB to BBB-, just one notch above junk, citing weak
growth and poor competitiveness which undermine the sustainability of its huge
public debt. 
    At 0745 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent.
    China's exports rose 4.7 percent in November from a year earlier, while
imports dropped 6.7 percent, well below expectations and adding to concerns the
world's second-largest economy could be facing a sharper slowdown.
 
    Japan's economy shrank more than initially reported in the third quarter on
declines in business investment, surprising markets and backing premier Shinzo
Abe's recent decision to delay a second sales tax hike. 
    Europe's struggling energy sector will be in focus again on Monday after
Brent fell to below $69 a barrel after Morgan Stanley cut its forecast
for crude and the market got little support from mixed Chinese trade data.
    UK oil major BP will be eyed after The Sunday Times reported the group is to
axe middle managers and could freeze projects as it grapples with the plummeting
oil price, citing finance director Brian Gilvary. 
    European stocks rallied on Friday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index
of top European shares surging 1.8 percent and Germany's DAX hitting a
record closing high, boosted by data showing U.S. employers took on the most
workers for nearly three years in November. 
      
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0748 GMT:    
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,075.37    0.17 %     3.45
 NIKKEI                              17935.64    0.08 %    15.19
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       471.74   -0.37 %    -1.74
 EUR/USD                               1.2268   -0.14 %  -0.0017
 USD/JPY                               121.44    0.02 %   0.0600
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.335        --     0.03
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.788        --     0.00
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,193.60    0.16 %    $1.85
 US CRUDE                              $65.33   -0.77 %    -0.51
 

  > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA UP, SOMBRE DATA OFFSETS ROBUST U.S. JOBS 
  > US STOCKS-WALL ST RISES FOR 7TH WEEK, BUT ENDS OFF ITS HIGHS 
  > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.08 PCT 
  > FOREX-DOLLAR BASKS IN POST-PAYROLLS GLOW, TOUCHES 7-YEAR HIGH VS YEN 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD STAYS BELOW $1,200 AS US JOBS REPORT BOOSTS DOLLAR 
  > METALS-LONDON COPPER STEADY; EYES ON CHINA TRADE DATA 
  > BRENT WEAK NEAR $68 AFTER MORGAN STANLEY CUTS PRICE FORECAST 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    BP 
    The company is to axe middle managers and could freeze projects as it
grapples with the plummeting oil price, The Sunday Times reported, citing
finance director Brian Gilvary. 
    
    DEUTSCHE BANK 
    German financial watchdog Bafin has found that Deutsche Bank co-Chief
Executive Anshu Jain was neither aware nor part of possible attempts at the
German lender to manipulate interest rates, German newspaper Handelsblatt
reported. 
    
    UNICREDIT 
    The bank hopes to be able to increase its dividend payouts, CEO Federico
Ghizzoni was quoted by Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday. 
    
    SAINT-GOBAIN 
    The French building materials supplier said it planned to buy a controlling
stake in construction chemicals group Sika for around 2.3 billion euros
($2.83 billion) and was putting its glass packaging unit Verallia unit up for
sale. 
        
    SOCIETE GENERALE 
    Societe Generale has suspended its involvement in financing a $10 billion
coal mine, rail and port project being developed by India's GVK conglomerate and
Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart, citing the project's years-long delay.
 
        
    SAFRAN 
    French aerospace group Safran named Philippe Petitcolin as its next chief
executive when chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman retires next spring. 
 
    
    E.ON 
    Germany's biggest utility is open to talks with the government about forming
a public foundation to fund the decommissioning of the country's nuclear plants,
its chief executive told a German magazine. 
    
    INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP 
    IHG, one of the world's largest hoteliers, said it had agreed to sell its
Paris-Le Grand hotel for 330 million euros ($405 million) to Constellation
Hotels. 
    
    RIO TINTO 
    The miner declined to comment on Monday on whether it would be willing to
settle a lawsuit it brought against Brazil's Vale SA over valuable
iron ore concessions in Guinea. 
    
    BHP BILLITON 
    A planned spin-off of businesses by global miner BHP Billiton will be called
South32 when it seeks multiple stock listings next year, BHP said on Monday.
 
    
    SAINSBURY'S 
    UK activist investment fund Crystal Amber is in talks with several
overseas investors about buying shares in Sainsbury's, as part of a plan to
shake up the food retailer that could cause a takeover bid to be made, The
Sunday Telegraph newspaper said. 
    
    MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP 
    The company has had to delay deliveries of online orders by up to two weeks
and withdraw next-day delivery services to stores after being beset by problems
at the busiest shopping time of the year, The Guardian newspaper reported on
Sunday.
    
    ALTICE 
    Telecoms group Altice's plan to buy the Portuguese operations of Brazil's Oi
 for 7.4 billion euros ($9 billion) depends on winning the backing of
shareholders in Portugal Telecom SGPS, the holding company which owns
25.6 percent of Oi, a spokesman for Portugal Telecom said.  
    
    EDF 
    Fitch Ratings has affirmed Electricite de France SA's (EDF) Long-term Issuer
Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating at 'A+', Short-term IDR at 'F1'
and subordinated notes at 'A-'. Fitch has also affirmed EDF Energy Nuclear
Generation Group Ltd's Long-term IDR at 'A+'. The Outlooks on the Long-term IDRs
are Negative.  
    
    DAIMLER 
    Chinese automaker BAIC Motor IPO-BAC.SS, part-owned by Germany's Daimler,
hopes to raise between $1.22 billion-$1.57 billion in its Hong Kong initial
public offering (IPO), IFR reported on Saturday. 
    
    LUFTHANSA 
    Lufthansa's supervisory board has blocked management plans to issue a
convertible bond to fund the purchase of more planes, German magazine Der
Spiegel reported on Sunday, without citing sources. 
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash)