Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to drop ahead on PMIs
PARIS, April 1 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to start the new quarter on a negative note, mirroring a sell-off on Wall Street and after poor macro data from China. Investors awaited a batch of manufacturing data from the euro zone, which should shed light on the region's economic outlook following the start of the European Central Bank's massive asset-buying scheme. At 0715 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were 0.4-0.9 percent. Surveys of China's factory and services sectors showed stubborn weakness in the world's second-biggest economy in March, fuelling expectations that Beijing will have to roll out more policy support to avert a sharper slowdown. Traders also mentioned renewed worries over Greece, as the country failed on Tuesday to reach an initial deal with the European Union and the IMF to unlock aid after the creditors dismissed a package of reforms from Athens as ideas rather than a concrete plan. European shares slipped on Tuesday after their recent sharp rally but retained big gains for the quarter, with Germany's DAX posting its strongest first-quarter performance since its creation in 1988. The DAX surged 22 percent in the last three months, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares climbed 16 percent, as investors bet the drop in the euro will spark a recovery in the region's economic growth and corporate profits. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0615 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,067.89 -0.88 % -18.35 NIKKEI 19034.84 -0.9 % -172.15 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 485.73 0.01 % 0.04 EUR/USD 1.0781 0.48 % 0.0051 USD/JPY 119.87 -0.21 % -0.2500 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.934 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.196 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,186.10 0.25 % $3.00 US CRUDE $47.30 -0.63 % -0.30 > Asian stocks sag, dollar falls vs yen as Nikkei recoils > Wall St drops but S&P, Nasdaq register quarterly gains > Nikkei falls to 3-week low on profit-taking, soft tankan survey > TREASURIES-Prices up on quarter-end buying by institutions > Dollar slips vs yen as Tokyo shares slip; Aussie up on China data > PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after March drop as dollar slips > METALS-Copper steadies after China factory growth ticks higher > Oil prices edge lower as Iran talks extend beyond deadline COMPANY NEWS: VIVENDI Vivendi employees have come out in support of chairman and largest shareholder Vincent Bollore and have opposed a call by a U.S. hedge fund to sell one of the French media group's two remaining businesses. TELEFONICA Spanish telecom operator Telefonica will have between 5 billion and 8 billion euros ($8.63 billion) to spend on expanding in markets such as Brazil and Mexico after selling 02 in Britain and paying down part of its debt, Expansion reported on Wednesday, citing analyst estimates. BANCO SANTANDER Europe's biggest bank plans to sell its only Australian wind farm partly because of uncertainty about the country's support for renewable energy, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. HSBC A court in Buffalo, New York, dismissed a petition on Monday filed by New York state, alleging that HSBC Holdings ignored a law designed to protect homeowners from being thrown into foreclosure without getting a chance to renegotiate their mortgages. AIRBUS Airbus Group said on Tuesday it named Kurt Rossner as head of the A400M military transport aircraft programme. L'OREAL L'Oreal said it had finalised the acquisition of Niely Cosmeticos Group, Brazil's largest independent hair coloration and hair care company. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL The U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Royal Dutch Shell a step closer to returning to the Arctic since it suffered accidents in the region in 2012. BP Proxy adviser Glass Lewis has recommended against the remuneration of BP's senior management including Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley saying the pay exceeded market standards, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. CENTRICA Withdrawal capacity at Britain's Rough storage site will be reduced by 5 million cubic metres a day until 0300 local time on April 1, operator Centrica said in a note overnight. TF1 France's largest private broadcaster said Eurosport SA bought 100 percent of Eurosport France. The share capital of the Eurosport group is now 51 percent owned by Discovery Communications and 49 percent by TF1. RENAULT The carmaker is on a new offensive in top-off-the-range motoring with the planned launch of three new models over the next two years, global sales director Jerome Stoll told Les Echos newspaper. ORANGE European Union antitrust regulators have resumed their scrutiny of French telecoms operator Orange's offer for Spanish peer Jazztel, with a decision whether to clear the 3.4-billion-euro ($3.65 billion) deal expected by June 1. BARRY CALLEBAUT Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut reported higher half-year sales and profits on Wednesday as cost cuts helped counter the impact of the surging Swiss franc, and confirmed mid-term targets subject to the currency swings. COMMERZBANK The Luxembourg arm of Germany's Commerzbank is closing the accounts of 400 customers suspected of tax evasion after prosecutors launched an investigation into Germany's second biggest bank last month, media reported. DEUTSCHE POST Union Verdi has called on workers at Deutsche Post to stage strikes from Wednesday. VINCI The construction and concessions said it had agreed to buy up to 250 million euros ($269 million) worth of its shares from an investment service provider as part of its previously announced share buyback programme. NEOPOST Mail solutions supplier Neopost said it was in adanced talks to buy a majority stake in Australian software company Temando. EURONEXT The exchange operator will launch its new dairy derivatives complex on April 13, less than two weeks after the abolition of the European Union's milk production quotas, it said on Tuesday. ENEL GREEN POWER Italy's Enel Green Power EGPW.MI has agreed to sell a 49 percent stake in a newly created company holding its North American renewable energy assets to GE Energy Financial Services for around $440 million in a bid to fund growth. PININFARINA London-based fund Cheyne Capital has expressed an interest in buying the automotive design group and could put an offer on the table if talks between Pininfarina and India's Mahindra & Mahindra don't result in a deal, Italian news agency Radiocor said. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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