Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set for mixed open after Fed

jueves 19 de marzo de 2015 03:32 GYT
 

PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a mixed start on
Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested a less aggressive timeline for
raising interest rates.
    The tone from the Fed sent the dollar dropping and the euro surging. Euro
zone stocks, especially Germany's DAX, have rallied strongly in the
past few months as investors bet that a lower euro would boost the region's
economy and corporate earnings. 
    The Fed dropped the word "patient" from its statement in terms of raising
interest rates, as expected, but also downgraded its views on the economy and
inflation and lowered its interest rate trajectory. That signalled a far more
gradual path to policy normalisation than many investors had foreseen.
 
    The euro bounced as high as $1.1062 on the Fed's announcement, its
biggest one-day rise against the dollar in six years and moving well off a
12-year trough of $1.0457 plumbed on Monday.
    At 0727 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 were down 0.2 percent, for
Germany's DAX down 0.4 percent and for France's CAC flat.
    "The Germans, the world's third largest exporter, aren't enjoying he
prospect of a weaker dollar/stronger euro hitting their economy so we see the
DAX lower on the open," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note.
    Swiss stocks will also be in the spotlight after the Swiss government cut
its growth forecasts for this year and next after the Swiss National Bank
removed its cap on the franc, but said there were no signs of a severe slowdown.
 
     
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0728 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,099.50    1.22 %    25.22
 NIKKEI                              19476.56   -0.35 %   -67.92
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       484.84    1.48 %     7.05
 EUR/USD                               1.0717   -1.36 %  -0.0148
 USD/JPY                               120.64    0.46 %   0.5500
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.918        --    -0.03
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.176        --    -0.02
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,169.96    0.28 %    $3.21
 US CRUDE                              $43.50    -2.6 %    -1.16
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks up, bond yields tumble on Fed caution 
  > Wall St surges as Fed statement relieves rate worries 
  > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes down 0.35 pct 
  > Short-dated yields post biggest daily fall since 2009 after Fed 
  > FOREX-Dollar licks its wounds after Fed gores bulls 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold at near two-week high as dollar tumbles on dovish Fed 
  > METALS-Metals open up as weak dollar eclipses U.S. growth downgrade 
  > Brent falls towards $55 as rally fades on inventory build 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:    
    LAFARGE, HOLCIM 
    Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge, seeking to save their merger deal, are
discussing a new leadership for the combined group which would give Lafarge's
boss Bruno Lafont a lesser role, sources familiar with the matter said on
Wednesday. 
    
    ALLIANZ 
    Allianz SE struck a deal with Goldman Sachs to help the German company hedge
part of its stake in China Pacific Insurance Group (CPIC) and lock in profits
from two rounds of investments that Allianz made in China's third-largest
insurer. 
    
    DEUTSCHE TELEKOM, LAGARDERE 
    French media group Lagardere said it is selling 2.84 million
Telekom shares for 45 million euros, with the sale taking effect in June 2016.
It has owned the shares since it sold Club Internet to T-Online International in
early 2000. 
    
    ARM HOLDINGS PLC 
    British chip design firm said on Thursday its market share in servers may
touch around 20 percent by 2020, up from less than 1 percent now, citing massive
potential in the market for big data. 
    
    NEXT 
    The British clothing retailer met guidance with a 12.5 percent rise in year
profit, powered by sales growth at both its stores and Directory internet
business. 
    
    FRAPORT 
    Airport operator warned geopolitical events and further strikes at its main
customer Lufthansa could weigh on passenger figures at Frankfurt in
2015. 
    
    KRONES 
    German beverage filling and packaging technology firm expects its operating
margin and sales to rise this year, it said on Thursday, adding it would propose
a dividend of 1.25 euros per share for 2014. 
    
    VOLVO 
    Truck maker Volvo's chief executive Olof Persson may be forced to leave the
company in the next few weeks, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri reported
on Thursday, citing unnamed well-placed sources. 
    
    HEIDELBERGCEMENT 
    Germany's aims for significant improvements in sales, operating income and
adjusted net profit this year thanks to strong demand in its core markets, the
weaker oil price and euro, and efficiency measures. 
    
    LANXESS 
    German chemicals group unveiled more cutbacks on Thursday, shedding about
140 jobs in rubber production, as it grapples with harsh competition and said
finding a strategic partner would likely take until the second half of the year.
 
        
    SWISS STOCKS
    The Swiss government cut its growth forecasts for this year and next after
the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the franc, but said there were no
signs of a severe slowdown.
    
    ENEL 
    Italy's biggest utility said on Thursday its core earnings this year would
be lower in 2014 year as it looks to increase profitability and dividends by
focusing on emerging markets and renewable energy. Enel also said its net profit
in 2014 fell 84 percent on the year after booking hefty writedowns on assets,
especially in Italy and Slovakia. 
    
    KION 
    German forklift truckmaker said it would raise its 2014 dividend by 57
percent, adding it expected higher revenues, operating earnings and order intake
this year on the back of strong demand in Europe and China. 
    
    SCHOELLER-BLECKMANN 
    Austria's Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment SBOE.VI proposed keeping
its dividend steady at 1.50 euros per share despite a 12 percent net profit drop
in 2014. 
        
    ZODIAC 
    Planemakers Airbus and Boeing have stepped up pressure on French supplier
Zodiac Aerospace over persistent delays in the delivery of aircraft seats that
are disrupting jetliner assembly, industry sources said.  
        
    SANOFI 
    The gap between regulatory decisions on new medicines made in different
parts of the world is increasing, imposing a high cost on industry and deterring
investment, the head of research at France's Sanofi said on Wednesday. 
 
    Separately, the drugmaker said its lixisenatide drug for the treatment of
type 2 diabetes did not increase cardiovascular risk among high risk patients in
a study it conducted. 
        
    AIRBUS 
    The planemaker has claimed $700 million in compensation for breach of
contract from the Tokyo court that is charged with bankruptcy proceedings for
the Japanese airline Skymark Airlines, Le Figaro newspaper reported citing an
Airbus spokesman. 
    
    SOPRA STERIA 
    The IT services group created from the merger of Sopra and Steria said it
was targeting for 2017 revenue of between 3.8 billion and 4.0 billion euros
($4.1-4.3 billion) and an operating profit margin on business activity of
between 8 and 9 percent. 
    The company was reporting 2014 sales and the acquisition of Airbus
subsidiary CIMPA SAS for an undisclosed sum. 
    
    CGG 
    The seismic surveys group said it had won a contract from a unit of Anadarko
Petroleum Corporation on the Caribbean coast offshore Colombia. it said the
survey would be the largest marine seismic program ever acquired in Colombia.
 
        
    LVMH 
    Tag Heuer plans to unveil a smartwatch in collaboration with U.S. chipmaker
Intel in one of several partnerships expected at the world's biggest watch fair
this week. 
    
    INTERPARFUMS 
    The French fragrances group is to buy the perfumes brand Rochas from
U.S.-based Procter & Gamble for $108 million, Le Figaro daily newspaper
reported.

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)