Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to extend rally on ECB boost
PARIS, Jan 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Friday, extending their new-year rally as investors cheered the European Central Bank's decision to buy government bonds in a bid to revive the region's economy and stave off deflation. At 0707 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.6-1.1 percent. European energy shares will be in focus on Friday as oil prices rose on news of the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. Brent crude futures were up 1.6 percent at $49.31 a barrel. The telecom sector will also be in the spotlight after Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd agreed to buy Telefonica's British mobile unit O2 for up to 10.25 billion pounds ($15.4 billion). On Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank would embark on quantitative easing - printing money to buy government bonds. Together with existing schemes, the programme will pump 60 billion euros a month into the euro zone economy from this March until at least September next year. Renault Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn upgraded his European car market growth forecast after the ECB unveiled its QE programme. Ghosn told participants at the Davos World Economic Forum that he now expects Europe's car market to grow by at least 2 percent in 2015, against 1-2 percent previously. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares surged 1.6 percent on Thursday, hitting a seven-year high. The benchmark index has gained 6.2 percent so far this year, outperforming Wall Street, where the S&P 500 is up 0.2 percent in 2015. Europe's outperformance over the United States is expected to continue in 2015. European equities are ripe for a catch-up rally after years of underperformance. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0711 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,063.15 1.53 % 31.03 NIKKEI 17511.75 1.05 % 182.73 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 480.68 0.92 % 4.36 EUR/USD 1.1334 -0.27 % -0.0031 USD/JPY 118.30 -0.15 % -0.1800 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.853 -- -0.04 10-YR BUND YLD 0.435 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,296.10 -0.38 % -$4.88 US CRUDE $46.99 1.47 % 0.68 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA STOCKS UP ON ECB BOOST, EURO NEAR 11-YR LOW > US STOCKS-WALL ST GAINS AS ECB PREPARES TO FLOOD MARKETS > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 1.05 PCT > U.S. TREASURY YIELDS FALL AFTER ECB ANNOUNCES BOND PURCHASES > EURO HITS FRESH 11-YEAR LOW IN WAKE OF ECB'S QE LAUNCH > GOLD NEAR 5-MONTH TOP AFTER ECB BOOST, EYES 3RD WEEKLY GAIN > METALS-COPPER'S REBOUND FROM 2009 LOWS FIZZLES ON DIM CHINA OUTLOOK > OIL JUMPS AS SAUDI KING'S DEATH FEEDS MARKET UNCERTAINTY COMPANY NEWS: TELEFONICA, BT Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd has agreed to buy Telefonica's British mobile unit O2 for up to 10.25 billion pounds ($15.4 billion), as Asia's richest man makes his boldest bet yet to revamp his European telecoms business. RENAULT, EUROPEAN CARMAKERS Renault Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn upgraded his European car market growth forecast on Thursday after the European Central Bank unveiled a bond purchase programme to boost the continent's flagging economy. ITALIAN COOPERATIVE BANKS An association representing Italian cooperative or popolari banks vowed on Thursday to do everything possible to block government's decree that aims to change their shareholder voting rules. INTESA SANPAOLO The bank is not interested in buying any of the Popolari banks in Italy, including Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the FT said citing Intesa CEO Carlo Messina. Messina said the bank had 16 billion euros in excess capital but could face pressure to return it to shareholders rather than spend it on a deal, FT said. UBS UBS said it did not suffer any overall losses in its trading business after the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) decision last week to abandon its three-year-old cap on the franc. NOVARTIS Novartis will review its Swiss cost base after the country's central bank scrapped a cap on the franc last week, sending the currency soaring, the Swiss drugmaker's chief executive said. TOD'S Italian luxury shoemaker Tod's reported on Thursday sales of 965.6 million euros ($1.1 billion), broadly in line with last year as declines in sales at its Tod's and Hogan brands were offset by an increase at Roger Vivier. THYSSENKRUPP ThyssenKrupp will have to pay a fine of about 100 million euros for delays in supplying submarines to Turkey, the Handelsblatt business daily reported. THALES French defence electronics group Thales TCFP.PA warned on Friday that losses at its naval defence and energy unit DCNS could shave around 100 million euros off Thales's 2014 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). SANOFI European pharmaceuticals group Sanofi on Thursday said it had agreed to pay 4.44 million euros ($5.06 million) in total to ousted chief executive Chris Viehbacher. NH HOTELES UBS said on Thursday it was placing a 7.6 percent stake in NH owned by Intesa Sanpaolo. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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