Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rally ahead of ECB
PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Monday, adding to last week's strong gains, on mounting expectations the European Central Bank is about to embark into a bond buying programme to support the euro zone economy. At 0712 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.2-0.3 percent. Expectations the ECB will soon start printing money through quantitative easing have been fuelling a rally in European shares in the past two weeks, with Germany's DAX hitting a record high on Friday. The central bank is set to meet on Thursday. "The market debate on ECB QE has shifted from 'if' to 'how', with the focus increasingly on the operational details of the programme," BNP Paribas analyst Luigi Speranza wrote in a note. "ECB comments suggest that a final decision on the most controversial aspects of the programme, such as its size and the allocation of risk, has not yet been taken. We think it increasingly likely that the ECB will leave at least some risk with the national central banks, rather than mutualise it." Shares in Europe's resource-related firms will be in focus as China is expected to report on Tuesday that economic growth slowed to 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter, the weakest since the global financial crisis, a Reuters poll showed. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0712 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,019.42 1.34 % 26.75 NIKKEI 17014.29 0.89 % 150.13 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 466.92 -0.34 % -1.57 EUR/USD 1.1577 0.09 % 0.0010 USD/JPY 117.08 -0.45 % -0.5300 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.831 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.461 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,275.30 -0.35 % -$4.51 US CRUDE $48.65 -0.08 % -0.04 > GLOBAL MARKETS-CHINA SHARES RETREAT; ECB CALL LOOMS LARGE > US STOCKS-WALL ST RALLIES AFTER 5 DOWN DAYS; ENDS DOWN FOR WEEK > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.89 PCT > TREASURIES-U.S. BOND PRICES FALL AS DATA SPARK PROFIT-TAKING > EURO STAYS ON EDGE AS CRUCIAL ECB MEETING LOOMS > GOLD NEAR 4-MONTH HIGH ON FUND INFLOWS, SAFE-HAVEN BIDS > LONDON COPPER CLIMBS OFF 5-1/2 YR LOWS; CHINA, ECB IN FOCUS > OIL PRICES DIP ON GLOOMY CHINESE, EUROPEAN OUTLOOK COMPANY NEWS: CREDIT SUISSE Credit Suisse said on Sunday it planned to start charging institutional and large corporate clients for Swiss franc accounts following a move by the Swiss National Bank to introduce negative interest rates. JULIUS BAER Julius Baer said on Monday that it hadn't suffered any losses in the two days following a shock decision by the Swiss National Bank to abandon a three-year-old cap on the franc. HEIDELBERGCEMENT Cheap oil will reduce costs at HeidelbergCement, a spokesman told Euro am Sonntag magazine. "We will benefit noticeably from the low price of oil in 2015," the spokesman said. FINMECCANICA China's Insigma will tell Finmeccanica on Monday its binding offer for the Italian group's transportation units AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS, which expired on January 15, will be extended a further 30 days to mid-February, Il Sole 24 Ore said Saturday, citing Insigma chairwoman Li Chwen Pan. FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES The group said in a presentation made to investors on Saturday and posted on its website the industry outlook in every region was positive. It said investments would increase to a peak in 2016 "to support the heavy cadence of new/refreshed product programs." ABENGOA Spanish renewable energy firm Abengoa, which is selling assets to cut debt, said late on Friday it had raised $328 million from selling shares in its U.S. unit after banks underwriting the offer bought more of the stock. TELEFONICA Hutchison Whampoa, owner of Britain's fourth-largest mobile operator Three, is in talks with Telefonica about buying its O2 network, the Sunday Times reported, citing unnamed city sources. MERCK The world's largest maker of liquid crystals for display screens avoids a multibillion-dollar premium on the purchase price for Sigma-Aldrich thanks to a currency hedging, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on Monday. SCHINDLER The group said it expects to achieve a full-year net profit of roughly 900 million Swiss francs ($1.05 billion), topping its outlook of 815 million to 865 million francs, mainly due to a strong result from financing activities. The elevator and escalator manufacturer said its fourth-quarter was as expected. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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