Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip after poor China data
PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a mixed open on Tuesday after data showed Chinese factory activity unexpectedly skidded to an 11-month low, signalling weakness in the world's second biggest economy. Investors also awaited PMI data for euro zone countries including Germany and France. The flash HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped to 49.2 in March, below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 50.6, slightly weaker than February's final PMI of 50.7. Shares in H&M will be eyed after the world's second-biggest fashion retailer reported a bigger fiscal first-quarter pretax profit than expected and said sales so far in March were up 9 percent. At 0740 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent. Greek stocks will be eyed again after a government spokesman said on Tuesday the country will present its proposed package of reforms to its euro zone partners by next Monday in hopes they will release much needed cash. European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in an interview published on Tuesday he expected Greece to reach an agreement with its euro zone partners within a week. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0740 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,104.42 -0.17 % -3.68 NIKKEI 19713.45 -0.21 % -40.91 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 488.78 0.19 % 0.95 EUR/USD 1.0938 -0.06 % -0.0007 USD/JPY 119.58 -0.13 % -0.1500 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.916 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.219 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,187.70 -0.08 % -$1.00 US CRUDE $46.86 -1.24 % -0.59 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares wobble as China PMI weighs > US STOCKS-Wall St slips after rally as dollar swings > Nikkei falls as soft China PMI, weak U.S. shares trigger profit-taking > TREASURIES-U.S. bond prices edge up on Greek debt talk jitters > Dollar firmer after comments by Fed's Williams, but doubts linger > PRECIOUS-Gold dips after 4-day rally but holds near 2-week high > METALS-Copper comes off 2-1/2 month high after China flash PMI > Oil drops as Saudi output nears record, China demand worries drag COMPANY NEWS: HENNES & MAURITZ The world's second-biggest fashion retailer reported on Tuesday a bigger fiscal first-quarter pretax profit than expected and said sales so far in March were up 9 percent. BNP PARIBAS, ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, HSBC U.S. bank regulators faulted crisis plans submitted by three foreign banks, saying they needed to improve the so-called living wills this year or face regulatory repercussions. The plans by BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC showed shortcomings, and "significant progress" was needed, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said in a statement. WOLSELEY British plumbing supplies group said it expected underlying group trading profit for its financial year to be in line with expectations after strong demand in the United States helped earnings rise 12 percent in its first half. 888 HOLDINGS The Online gambling company which ended talks on a takeover by larger rival William Hill WMH.L last month, said it would hand a special dividend to shareholders after full-year earnings increased by a third. CARREFOUR The retailer said it was selling 12.7 million of its treasury shares representing about 1.73 percent of its share capital in a private placement via an accelerated bookbuilding. LAND SECURITIES GROUP PLC Britain's said it had struck a deal to sell its 95 percent stake in an office building in Times Square, London, to real estate funds managed by Blackstone Group LP for 268.4 million pounds ($400.5 million). TOTAL Total is pushing ahead with a $27 billion natural-gas project in the Russian Arctic, but it will seek a big chunk of the financing - as much as $15 billion worth - through Chinese banks in local currency and euros, the Wall Street Journal reports. (on.wsj.com/1HrGAYN) GERMAN BANKS The head of German financial watchdog BaFin has called for the financial industry and particularly the country's savings banks to step up cost cuts in the low interest rate environment, Handelsblatt reported. PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN The carmaker said the amount of Banque PSA Finance's French State's guaranteed bonds was reduced to 297 million euros from an initial 1.5 billion. RUBIS The petroleum storage and distribution company said it agreed to buy Eres, a bitumen specialist operating in Western Africa. GEMALTO Gemalto said that China Telecom has selected its UpTeq Multi-tenant NFC SIMs to deploy secure NFC transport services in China's two largest cities - Shanghai and Beijing. This will enable up to 45 million daily commuters to ride their metros and pay for their everyday purchases with a simple tap of their smartphones. LENZING AG Austrian fibre maker expects no far-reaching price recovery this year, it said on Tuesday, after a market swamped by cheap Chinese and Indian viscose pushed it to an expected final net loss of 14 million euros ($15.3 million). (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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