European Factors to Watch-Shares seen tracking lower U.S. market
(updates futures prices, adds company news) LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to extend the previous session's sharp sell-off on Thursday, mirroring losses in the United States and Asia where technology-related stocks fell sharply. At 0735 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down 0.6 to 1.3 percent. "A cacophony of bearish news in the form of weak U.S. data, Grexit jitters and an escalation of fighting in Yemen all conspired to bring markets down yesterday and there is no let-up in the bearish sentiment this morning," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note. Greece failed in a bid on Wednesday to secure a quick cash payment from the euro zone rescue fund to help stave off potential bankruptcy next month, while data showed U.S. business investment spending plans fell for a sixth straight month in February. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 fell 1.1 percent to 1,586.96 points on Wednesday, led lower by tech stocks that were hit by a sell-off in their U.S. peers. The STOXX Europe 600 Technology Index fell 2.9 percent, with traders citing concerns over weak computer sales as weighing on the U.S technology sector. U.S. stocks fell 1.6 to 2.4 percent on Wednesday, while Japan's Nikkei share average dropped 1.4 percent on Thursday as investors sold semi-conductor and other hi-tech shares. However, the market could get support from a survey showing morale among German consumers was at its brightest in 13-1/2 years heading into April, helped by expectations that incomes will rise. Energy stocks will be in focus as Brent crude oil shot up nearly 6 percent on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began a military operation in Yemen to counter Iran-allied forces besieging the southern city of Aden, but the benchmark later came off its high as importers saw no immediate threat to supplies. COMPANY NEWS LUFTHANSA Cockpit voice recordings from the German jet that crashed in the Alps showed one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not get back in before the plane went down, killing everyone onboard, the New York Times reported. AIRBUS, DASSAULT AVIATION Airbus said it raised 1.64 billion euros from the sale of a 17.5 percent stake in Dassault Aviation, with institutional investors paying 1,030 euros per share. Dassault shares, suspended on Wednesday, are set to resume trading on Thursday. LLOYDS BANKING GROUP The size of the stake owned by British taxpayers in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen below 22 percent, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. ADIDAS German sportswear company Adidas hopes to increase sales and profitability at a faster rate in the next five years by focusing its marketing on six global cities, selling more direct to customers and expanding product customisation. LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE Borse Dubai, the biggest investor in the London Stock Exchange, is selling its stake in the British exchange, which will raise around 1.5 billion pounds ($2.23 billion). GLENCORE The company has decided to close its West Wallsend underground coal mine in Australia in 2016, several months earlier than planned, saying poor coal prices meant it would not make sense to extend the life of the mine. INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES GROUP, AER LINGUS GROUP Chief executive of Etihad Airways has indicated that the Abu Dhabi-based airline would be willing to sell its stake in Aer Lingus, if the Irish government backs the offer made by International Airlines Group for the Dublin-based carrier, the Financial Times reported. SKY DEUTSCHLAND The company's Chief Executive Brian Sullivan will leave the firm on June 24 to return to the United States, the German pay-TV operator said on Thursday. BOLLORE, HAVAS French businessman Vincent Bollore's holding group said it was selling a 17 percent stake in media group Havas to improve liquidity in the stock, reducing its holding to around 66 percent. CREDIT AGRICOLE Credit Lyonnais is considering securitising 11 billion euros worth of home loans in May, Les Echos newspaper reported, citing inside sources. The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. RIO TINTO The head of the world's second-largest iron ore miner dismissed as "harebrained" a suggestion by smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group that miners should cap output of the steelmaking raw material to boost prices. DEUTSCHE WOHNEN The real estate company forecast its funds from operations (FFO) would rise to at least 250 million euros ($274.4 million) this year, compared with 217.6 million in 2014. ACCIONA Acciona said on Wednesday it had signed a 1.8 billon euro syndicated loan to refinance current commitments and to fund "general corporate needs." TELEFONICA Telefonica announced on Wednesday it would raise 3.0 billion euros in a rights issue to help fund the purchase of Vivendi's Brazilian unit GVT. PERNOD RICARD The French drinks group said sales trends in China, its second-largest market, were improving thanks to a positive performance during the New Year celebrations. ANTOFAGASTA, ANGLO AMERICAN Torrential downpours in the north of Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, have forced companies to suspend operations at several of the area's major mines, putting an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of capacity of the red metal on hold. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL Shell expects only a fraction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects already approved by the Canadian government to go ahead in the next decade, an executive said on Wednesday. HSBC The Malaysian Islamic banking arm of HSBC Holdings will tap the Islamic bonds (sukuk) market for only the third time on Friday, as part of a 3 billion ringgit ($816 million) sukuk programme, the lender said in a regulatory filing. SMA SOLAR Germany's largest solar company by sales, reported a 179.3 million euro net loss for 2014, hit by plunging demand for its inverters in key European markets. U.S. COMPANIES REPORTING : Q2 2015 Accenture Q3 2015 ConAgra Foods Inc Q4 2014 GameStop Corp MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS : 0930 GB Retail Sales 1230 US Initial Jobless Claims 1345 US Markit Svcs PMI Flash ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0622 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,061.05 -1.46 % -30.45 NIKKEI 19471.12 -1.39 % -275.08 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 483.88 -1.01 % -4.92 EUR/USD 1.0983 0.13 % 0.0014 USD/JPY 118.83 -0.54 % -0.6500 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.913 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.228 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,200.96 0.48 % $5.71 US CRUDE $51.14 3.92 % 1.93 > Asia shares skid; oil climbs on Yemen escalation > Wall St drops as biotechs, semis sink Nasdaq > Nikkei tumbles as semi-conductor shares take hit > Yields rise after weak five-year note sale > Dollar drifts lower, undermined by soft U.S. data > Gold extends gains in longest rally since 2012, weak US data aids > London copper underpinned by Chile floods, mine closures > Oil prices surge after Saudi air strikes in Yemen (Reporting by Atul Prakash)
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