Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to bounce, Inditex in focus
PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch higher on Wednesday, halting the previous session's pull-back, with Inditex in focus after the Spanish fashion giant posted in-line results. Investors also awaited the Federal Reserve's policy statement, due after the European session, for clues about when U.S. interest rates will rise. At 0723 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3 percent. The Fed statement is due at 1800 GMT, followed 30 minutes later by a news conference with Chair Janet Yellen. Financial markets are most interested in whether the U.S. central bank will remove the word "patient" from its remarks on raising rates. [I:nL2N0WI19U] Danish banking stocks will be in the spotlight after the country's central bank said commercial banks' current accounts limits will be increased to 145 billion Danish crowns ($20.6 billion) from 37 billion crowns, effective from Friday. Greek shares will also be in focus after Greece frustrated its main creditors on Tuesday by refusing to update euro zone peers on its reform progress at a scheduled teleconference, insisting instead that the discussions should be escalated to Thursday's European Union summit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0723 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,074.28 -0.33 % -6.91 NIKKEI 19544.48 0.55 % 107.48 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 477.36 0.45 % 2.13 EUR/USD 1.0595 -0.02 % -0.0002 USD/JPY 121.28 -0.06 % -0.0700 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.042 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 0.273 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,146.26 -0.2 % -$2.29 US CRUDE $42.59 -2 % -0.87 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks up before Fed, dollar treads water > US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 fall on Fed nervousness; Nasdaq inches up > Nikkei flat as market awaits Fed clues; Nintendo set to surge > TREASURIES-Yields fall as sliding oil prices hint at mild inflation > FOREX-Dollar bulls bank on Fed losing its patience > PRECIOUS-Gold comes off 4-month low; Fed outcome eyed > METALS-London copper marks time ahead of Fed outcome > Brent falls towards $53 after U.S. crude stocks rise COMPANY NEWS: INDITEX Spanish fashion giant posted a 5 percent rise in 2014 profit to 2.5 billion euros ($2.65 billion) on Wednesday, as an economic recovery fed customer appetite for fashion in its biggest European markets and negative exchange rate pressure faded. DANISH BANKS The Danish commercial banks' current accounts limits at the Danish central bank will be increased to 145 billion Danish crowns ($20.6 billion) from 37 billion crowns effective from Friday, the central bank said on Wednesday. BARCLAYS Citigroup Inc and Barclays are close to settling as early as this week a lawsuit with private investors who say the banks manipulated foreign-exchange rates, the Wall Street Journal said. ADIDAS China's Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd, a sports shoe maker that supplies both Nike and Adidas, said on Wednesday thousands of workers at a factory in the south of the country have gone on strike following changes to production processes. DEUTSCHE BANK Subsidiary Sal. Oppenheim posted a 2014 loss due to restructuring and legacy legal issues, the unit's Chief Executive Wolfgang Leoni told Boersen-Zeitung. LUFTHANSA Pilots at Lufthansa called a fresh strike for Thursday, this time on long-haul and cargo flights, just hours ahead of 24 hour strike on short and medium-haul flights on Wednesday. BRENNTAG The world's largest chemicals distributor posted a 4 percent rise in full-year core earnings, helped by growth in its main markets of Europe and North America. SACYR The Panama Canal Authority said on Tuesday it had asked for an international arbitration panel to review a decision to award $233 million to the consortium expanding the canal, lead by Spain's Sacyr, in a dispute over cement quality. BALLAST NEDAM Dutch builder on Wednesday scrapped its 2014 forecast and postponed the announcement of its annual results after cost overruns deteriorated further at two major road-building projects. DEUTSCHE WOHNEN, CONWERT The group launched its 11.50 euro per share bid for Austrian target Conwert on Wednesday and ruled out sweetening the price despite criticism from some Conwert shareholders. EUROTUNNEL The operator of the Channel Tunnel raised its dividend by 20 percent and forecast a further rise in profit this year and next, driven by a recovery in the British economy and signs of improvement in Europe. LAFARGE The cement maker's board and that of competitor Holcim met separately in an attempt to salvage their troubled merger agreement. SBM OFFSHORE Brazil's comptroller general and Dutch oil platform leasing firm SBM Offshore said they had agreed on a framework for what could be the first leniency deal in a bribery scandal linked to Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras. HEURTEY PETROCHEM The oilfield equipment manufacturer targeted full-year revenue of 400-420 million euros after earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization advanced to 24.7 million euros in 2014 from 21.3 million. BOSKALIS, FUGRO Dutch marine engineer Fugro does not have to give shareholders a vote on one of its poison pill defences against takeovers, a Dutch court ruled, a decision that will help to keep other Dutch companies safe from predators. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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