Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to pause; Pirelli eyed

lunes 23 de marzo de 2015 03:08 GYT

PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to pause on Monday
following recent sharp gains, with the auto sector in focus after China National
Chemical Corp agreed to buy Pirelli in a 7.1 billion euro deal.
    The acquisition, agreed with Pirelli shareholders on Sunday, will see
state-owned ChemChina take over the world's fifth-largest tyre maker and one of
the symbols of Italy's manufacturing industry. 
    At 0705 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were flat to down 0.3 percent.
    Investors will keep a close eye on the euro, trading at $1.0790
against the dollar on Monday, above a 12-year trough of $1.0457 hit last week.
    European stocks have been strongly rallying since the start of the year,
with Germany's DAX up 23 percent - on track to record its best quarter
in 12 years - as global investors bet that a weaker euro would boost the
region's economy and corporate earnings.
    Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said European equity funds had seen $5.4
billion in investment inflows in the past week. That brought total inflows for
the last 10 weeks to $42 billion, fuelled by expectations that the European
Central Bank's asset-buying scheme would revive growth.
    The euro has fallen by about 25 percent against the dollar over the past
year. This should give euro zone companies a major lift as roughly 50 percent of
euro zone earnings come from outside the region. 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,108.10     0.9 %    18.83
 NIKKEI                              19754.36    0.99 %   194.14
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       487.02    0.39 %     1.89
 EUR/USD                               1.0788    -0.3 %  -0.0032
 USD/JPY                               119.94   -0.07 %  -0.0900
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.929        --     0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.182        --     0.00
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,183.10    0.08 %    $0.92
 US CRUDE                              $45.77   -1.72 %    -0.80
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares fuelled by US shares rise on dollar 
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  > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 0.99 pct 
  > TREASURIES-Yields dip on dovish central bank outlook, overseas demand 
  > FOREX-Dollar starts week on the defensive as post-Fed caution lingers 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold near 2-week high, retains gains on weaker dollar 
  > METALS-Copper rallies on slower US rate hike hopes; chart-based buys 
  > Oil prices drop after Saudi Arabia says it will not cut output alone 
    ChemChina agreed on Sunday to buy tyre maker Pirelli in a 7.1 billion euro
deal that will place one of the symbols of Italy's manufacturing industry in
Chinese hands. Il Messaggero said on Saturday Morgan Stanley was working on a
possible counterbid for Pirelli. Contacted by Reuters, the bank declined to
    Boskalis says it has increased its stake in rival Fugro to 25.1 percent.
    Spain's Santander said it had presented a non-binding offer for Portugal's
Novo Banco, the successor to rescued Banco Espirito Santo (BES), in the second
phase of a sale process that has attracted 14 other potential bidders. 
    The German insurer raised its dividend slightly to 1.25 euros per share from
1.20 euros after posting better-than-expected net profit of 239 million euros
($259 million) in the last quarter of 2014. 
    Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont had to be removed as chief executive-elect of a
merged Lafarge-Holcim cement group because of the "value drift" that occurred
after the tie-up was announced last April, Holcim's chief executive
said in a Sunday newspaper interview. 
    Talks between the plane maker and the French government over the financing
for a new helicopter have hit an impasse, raising questions about where
thousands of assembly and supplier jobs will be located, two people familiar
with the matter said. 
    Deutsche Bank's retail operations will bear the brunt of its planned
restructuring and will most likely be spun off in a stock market listing, two
sources familiar with internal discussions at Germany's biggest bank say.
    The chairman of troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Alessandro Profumo, said
he will step down after Italy's third-biggest bank completes a 3 billion euro
rights issue in the next few months. 
    The bonus paid to top executives at the sportswear maker in 2015 will depend
on a rise in sales in the key U.S. market, as well as higher market share in
football shoes in western Europe, according to proposals for the annual general
meeting. The board also wants to see an increase in sales at the struggling golf
business and of Boost running shoes in 2015. 
    Cutting debt is the priority for the drugmaker after its $14 billion
acquisition of Merck & Co.'s MRK.N consumer health business, finance chief
Johannes Dietsch tells daily Boersen Zeitung. 
    FMC Technologies Inc and Technip said they would form an alliance in the
subsea oil and gas technology industry. Forys Subsea will be based in London and
employ 320 people. 
    Telefonica has formally waived the voting rights associated with its stake
in Telecom Italia in order to comply with the demands of Brazil's telecoms
watchdog Anatel and go ahead with a purchase of Vivendi's GVT, the Spanish group
said on Friday. 
   The French drug maker, along with rivals Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novartis
, each have the three top new drugs set to reach the market in 2015,
among 11 products each with $1 billion-plus sales potential, according to a
Thomson Reuters analysis. 

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)