European Factors to Watch-Shares seen up on cautious Fed minutes
(Updates futures prices, adds company news) LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a higher open on Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia, after minutes of the Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting suggested that authorities were not in a hurry to raise interest rates. The minutes showed the U.S. central bank thought the economy was close to warranting a rate hike but decided it was prudent to wait for evidence a global economic slowdown was not knocking the United States off course. "European equities are set to rally as central banks give into the bulls' demands for dovish monetary policy to rescue them from their current plight," London Capital Group said in a note. "The fed minutes underlined the global economic slowdown and the potential to threaten the U.S economic outlook." Commodity stocks were expected to rise sharply as zinc prices jumped more than 6 percent after trader and miner Glencore said it would slash its annual output by a third. Prices of other major industrial metals and crude oil surged between 1.5 percent and 2.8 percent. Futures for the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index, Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were up 0.7 to 1.0 percent by 0657 GMT. In the United States, the S&P 500 index rose 0.9 percent on Thursday to close at a seven-week high, while Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.5 percent on Friday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.3 percent higher in the previous session, with the market closing before the Fed minutes. The index headed for its biggest weekly percentage gain since mid-July after falling in the previous three weeks in a row. On the earnings front, Alcoa reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by slumping prices for aluminum and other commodities and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. COMPANY NEWS VOLKSWAGEN The Australian unit of VW said it will conduct a voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with devices designed to mask the level of emissions, as it increased the estimated number of affected cars to nearly 100,000. Separately, Volkwagen's U.S. chief executive told lawmakers on Thursday that cheating on emissions with the use of software in diesel cars was not a corporate decision, but something that "individuals did." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said VW is expected next week to provide U.S. and California regulators with a preliminary attempt at a software fix for the defeat devices it installed in 2012-2014 Passats. GLENCORE Commodities giant Glencore said it will cut 500,000 tonnes of zinc production, or around 4 percent of global supply, in its latest move to withstand weak commodities prices. ALLIANZ Billionaire bond investor Bill Gross sued his former employer Pacific Investment Management Co and its parent Allianz for $200 million, saying a greedy "cabal" of executives drove him out of the bond fund giant he helped found because they wanted his huge bonus for themselves. DEUTSCHE BANK JP Morgan is one of several banks in talks to buy a credit default swap portfolio from Deutsche Bank valued at more than $250 billion, Business Insider reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Separately, a former senior trader at Deutsche Bank pleaded guilty on Thursday to engaging in a scheme to manipulate Libor, the benchmark interest rate at the center of global investigations involving various banks, the U.S. Justice Department said. GIVAUDAN Swiss flavours and fragrance maker Givaudan on Friday maintained its financial targets for the five years ending 2015 as currency effects erased gains made in the first nine months. THYSSENKRUPP German Chancellor Angela Merkel promoted Germany's submarines during her visit to India and there is a good chance that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems could win a deal, Focus magazine reported, citing government sources. LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP - The company said it would sell Frank Russell Company's asset management business to U.S. private equity firm TA Associates for gross proceeds of about $1.15 billion. EDF The French energy group's CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said Italy will remain a key country for the group and the state-controlled utility wants to keep majority control of its Italian unit Edison. ROCHE Roche's big new drug hope ocrelizumab cut multiple sclerosis relapses by nearly 50 percent compared with the older product Rebif in two large clinical trials, underscoring its potential in the main relapsing form of the disease. ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV, SABMILLER Anheuser-Busch InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito repeated his appeal to SABMiller shareholders on Thursday, again urging them to push the brewer's board into more serious takeover discussions. CREDIT SUISSE After the Financial Times on Thursday reported that Credit Suisse was planning to tap investors for a "substantial" capital raising, the Swiss bank said it was still evaluating strategic options as well as its capital usage and requirements. NORSK HYDRO Norway's Norsk Hydro has signed a letter of intent with Brazilian mining company Vale for the possible acquisition of Vale's 40-percent interest in Brazilian bauxite producer Mineracao Rio do Norte (MRN), the company said on Friday. PUBLICIS The French advertising group said its ZenithOptimedia was acquiring performance marketing agency Frubis. FAGRON Belgium's Fagron, which makes custom medicines for pharmacies and hospitals, said on Friday its revenue, adjusted for acquisitions, fell in the third quarter of 2015, as a change in U.S. reimbursement policies weighed on its results. AIR FRANCE KLM An union at Air France has called for a meeting with other unions at the airline on Tuesday to decide whether to go ahead with strike plans, its head Miguel Fortea said. AIXTRON The microchip equipment maker aims to continue its push to diversify beyond chips for light-emitting diodes (LED) to return to profit and eyes a gross margin of 30-35 percent, its Chief Executive Martin Goetzeler told Boersen-Zeitung in an interview. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0520 GMT: S&P 500 2,013.43 0.88 % 17.6 NIKKEI 18394.48 1.4 % 253.31 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 426 1.85 % 7.74 EUR/USD 1.1285 0.06 % 0.0007 USD/JPY 119.98 0.06 % 0.0700 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.095 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.593 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,146.96 0.74 % $8.40 US CRUDE $50.50 2.16 % 1.07 > Asia stocks shine as Fed minutes hint at patience on hike > Wall St rises after release of 'dovish' Fed minutes > Nikkei up on cautious Fed minutes > U.S. bond prices fall as Fed minutes pare bids > Dollar stung by Fed minutes, Aussie and Asia FX shine > Gold ticks up on dovish Fed minutes, set for weekly gain > London zinc jumps after Glencore cuts production > Crude oil futures rise after bullish forecast, Fed minutes (Reporting by Atul Prakash)
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