Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rally after Fed comments

jueves 18 de diciembre de 2014 03:27 GYT
 

PARIS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Thursday,
tracking a rally on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave an upbeat
assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward
raising interest rates.
    At 0710 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were 1.0-1.1 percent.
    Fed Chair Janet Yellen told a news conference that "patient" meant the
policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee was unlikely to hike rates for "at
least a couple of meetings," meaning April of next year at the earliest.
 
    U.S. stocks and bond yields rallied as investors digested the comments that
evinced faith in the economy while still projecting a slow-going approach to
rate hikes.
    Greek stocks will be in focus again on Thursday after a poll showed radical
leftist Syriza party holds a 3.6-percentage-point lead over the ruling
conservatives. The poll was published hours after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
lost the first round of a presidential vote by a larger-than-expected margin, in
a disappointing result for his conservative-centre left coalition ahead of two
more rounds of voting this month. 
    Shares in Swiss companies such as UBS, Credit Suisse and
Richemont will also be in the spotlight after the Swiss National Bank
said it would introduce a negative rates of -0.25 percent on sight deposit
account balances at the central bank as it seeks to deter safe-haven buying.
 
    European stocks are down about 6 percent since the start of the month, as
the relentless drop in oil prices has hurt energy shares and fuelled
fears of deflation in the euro zone, while the collapse of Russia's rouble has
sparked worries about the country's economy and the impact on Europe's recovery.
    However, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday that European shares are set to
bounce back in 2015, helped by the European Central Bank's ultra-loose policy
and as a weaker euro and lower oil prices lift earnings.
    The survey of more than 50 fund managers and strategists conducted in the
past week predicted the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index would rise
13 percent from current levels to 370 points by the end of 2015. 
     
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0724 GMT: 
    
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,012.89    2.04 %    40.15
 NIKKEI                              17210.05    2.32 %   390.32
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       451.95    0.58 %      2.6
 EUR/USD                               1.2287   -0.44 %  -0.0054
 USD/JPY                               118.81    0.14 %   0.1700
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.120        --    -0.03
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.584        --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,197.60    0.79 %    $9.40
 US CRUDE                              $56.38   -0.16 %    -0.09
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA RELIEVED BY WALL ST BOUNCE, UPBEAT FED 
  > WALL ST RALLIES AFTER FED; S&P 500 POSTS BEST DAY SINCE 2013 
  > NIKKEI SEES BIGGEST DAILY RISE IN 6-1/2 WEEKS ON WALL ST, FED CONFIDENCE 
  > TREASURIES-U.S. BOND YIELDS RISE AS FED SHADES TOWARDS RATE HIKE 
  > FOREX-DOLLAR UP AS FED RATE GUIDANCE SHOWS QUIET CONFIDENCE IN ECONOMY 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD GAINS AS FED TAKES "PATIENT" STANCE ON RATE HIKE 
  > METALS-COPPER FUTURES CLIMB ON CHINA ECONOMY HOPES, OIL GAINS 
  > BRENT EDGES FURTHER ABOVE $61 AS COMPANIES CUT UPSTREAM INVESTMENTS 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    CARREFOUR 
    Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz has agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in
Carrefour SA's Brazilian unit, a source with direct knowledge of the situation
said on Wednesday, potentially strengthening its ability to take on the
supermarket chain Diniz's father founded. 
    
    ALLIANZ 
    Pimco posted a record total outflow of $5.8 billion from its emerging market
funds in the first 11 months of 2014, according to Morningstar data released on
Wednesday. 
    
    SYNGENTA 
    Chinese government approval for imports of a controversial type of Syngenta
AG biotech corn increases the likelihood the seed maker will pay settlements to
more than 100 U.S. farmers and exporters suing for damages from grain shipments
rejected by Beijing, lawyers said. 
    
    BASF, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 
    BASF said it is going to sell its share in the 50-50 joint venture ELLBA
Eastern, Jurong Island, Singapore to Shell. 
    
    BARCLAYS 
    The 500 million pounds ($783.70 million) Barclays set aside to settle
allegations of rigging the foreign exchange market will not be enough, the
bank's Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said in an interview to Sky News.
 
    
    BT GROUP 
    BT is preparing a giant financing package including a 2 billion pounds
rights issue to help fund its planned takeover of EE, the mobile operator. The
share placing will help to keep the telecom giant's level of debt at a
manageable level as it faces big bills next year from an anticipated increase in
pension fund top-up payments and a jump in Premier League rights costs, The
Telegraph reported.
    
    SHIRE 
    Shire, whose proposed sale to AbbVie Inc fell apart in October, is
considering an offer for U.S-based drug developer NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc
, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
 
    
    ROYAL MAIL 
    Taxpayers lost out on a lower sum from the privatisation of Royal Mail than
the 1 billion pounds suggested by MPs earlier this year, a report commissioned
by Vince Cable will conclude this week, Sky News reported.
       
    SANOFI 
    The French drugmaker said it has completed an 8 billion euro refinancing of
its two syndicated revolving credit facilities. 
    
    AIRBUS 
    A management reshuffle at Airbus AIR.PA this week marks another step towards
focusing Europe's biggest aerospace company on industrial performance rather
than the political interests of key shareholders France and Germany, industry
sources said. 
    U.S. civil aircraft sales are expected to rise 6 percent to $79.76 billion
in 2015, down from a growth rate of 8 percent in 2014, the Aerospace Industries
Association said. 
    
    ALSTOM, ACCIONA 
    Acciona said its consortium including Alstom Transport Australia signed a
1.4 billion euro contract with the New South Wales government to build a light
railway in Sydney. 
    
    ADP 
    The operator of Paris' airports set out proposals to invest 3.1 billion
euros over the period 2016-2020 and set a target to bring its return on capital
employed in line with the group's estimated 5.8 percent weighted average cost of
capital in 2020. 
    
    EUROSTAR
    French state-owned rail operator SNCF is considering using its pre-emption
rights on the Eurostar train service that runs from Paris and Brussels to London
in order to block certain bidders for the stake put up for sale by its partner,
the British government, according to Les Echos newspaper.  
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)