European Factors to Watch-Shares seen extending gains, autos in focus
(Updates futures prices, adds company news) LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to extend the previous session's rally on Friday, tracking strong gains on Wall Street and in Asia, as some U.S. data releases eased concerns about the pace of recovery in the world's biggest economy. U.S. consumer prices fell the most in eight months as gasoline costs fell in September, but a rise in core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, suggested inflation was starting to firm. Also, the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell back to a 42-year low last week, suggesting the labor market remained strong despite. "U.S. data gave something for all the bulls to cling on to. A pickup in inflation and a drop in unemployment claims led some to think the U.S. economy was continuing to maintain its anaemic recovery," Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at London Capital Group, said. Automobile shares will be in focus after industry data showed that strong demand for German cars helped lift European sales in September, contributing to the 25th consecutive month of growth in the European Union. Futures for the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 were up between 0.4 and 0.6 percent by 0646 GMT. Wall Street recorded its best level in eight weeks on Thursday after data releases and strong earnings from Citigroup led investors to pile back into stocks. Major share indexes rose 1.3 to 1.8 percent. Japan's Nikkei share average gained 1 percent on Friday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 1.4 percent higher in the previous session, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 1.5 percent. COMPANY NEWS CARREFOUR Europe's largest retailer reported an acceleration in third-quarter sales, reflecting an improving performance in Southern Europe, good momentum in France and resilience in Brazil despite a slowing economy. HUGO BOSS The fashion house cut its 2015 sales and profit outlook on Thursday as a slowdown in China and more hesitant tourist shoppers in the United States hurt its third-quarter results. NESTLE Nine-month sales at the world's biggest food company lagged market expectations and it cut its forecast for organic growth this year to around 4.5 percent from 5 percent. DEUTSCHE BANK Board member Stephan Leithner will leave the bank, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, with one saying he would move to private equity firm EQT Partners. Separately, Bloomberg reported Raymond James Financial Inc was in talks to buy the U.S. private-client brokerage arm of Deutsche Bank. VOLKSWAGEN The U.S. attorney's office in Detroit and the Justice Department's fraud section joined a federal probe of Volkswagen AG over emissions-test cheating, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Volkswagen's new CEO Matthias Mueller predicted on Thursday that it can bounce back from the scandal in two to three years as the carmaker outlined plans to recall 8.5 million affected vehicles in the European Union. RIO TINTO The miner posted a 17 percent rise in third-quarter iron ore shipments and said it was on track to meet a full-year target of 340 million tonnes, shrugging off risks from slower economic growth and peaking steel output in China. REMY COINTREAU French spirits group Remy Cointreau said a decline in organic sales slowed in the three months to end-September, thanks to slightly improving cognac demand in China and robust demand for all its brands in the U.S., its top market. AUTOS Industry data showed that strong demand for German cars helped lift European sales in September, contributing to the 25th consecutive month of growth in the European Union. VODAFONE GROUP Vodafone will expand partner market agreement with MTS. Under new, non-equity partnership, companies will roll out 3G and develop a number of new services in market using Vodafone brand in Ukraine. ELECTROLUX Deliveries of the six biggest categories of white goods in the United States rose by 6.4 percent year-on-year in September, data from industry body Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers showed late on Thursday. VONOVIA, DEUTSCHE WOHNEN Influential shareholder adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. Thursday withdrew its support for Deutsche Wohnen's offer for smaller rival LEG Immobilien AG, recommending investors instead accept a $16 billion offer from Vonovia, Dow Jones reported, citing an ISS statement. ASTRAZENECA U.S. health regulators declined to approve AstraZeneca's fixed-dose combination of the diabetes drugs saxagliptin and dapagliflozin, dealing a blow to an important plank of the drugmaker's business. REPSOL, GAS NATURAL The oil major has asked advisor banks to study a possible merger with Gas Natural, Expansion newspaper reports without citing sources. UNICREDIT Italian bank UniCredit said on Thursday that a preliminary review it had conducted following a criminal probe into alleged mafia links among its executives had shown no wrongdoing and it reaffirmed its confidence in the officials. TELECOM ITALIA Argentina's telecoms regulator on Thursday nixed the sale of a 68 percent stake in Telecom Argentina holding company Sofora to investment firm Fintech, the regulator AFTIC said in a statement. The board of Telecom Italia meets on Friday to discuss possible fibre-optic investments as part of a plan sponsored by state lender CDP centred around fibre-optic group Metroweb. NEXANS French cable maker said third-quarter sales fell to 1.520 billion euros ($1.73 billion) at current metal prices versus 1.574 billion euros ($1.14 billion) euros year ago. AIR FRANCE-KLM The company's plans to cut jobs and flights can still be avoided if negotiations between managers and unions progress, the airline's board said on Thursday. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0515 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,023.86 1.49 % 29.62 NIKKEI 18281.43 1.02 % 184.53 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 429.32 0.01 % 0.06 EUR/USD 1.1384 0.02 % 0.0002 USD/JPY 119.18 0.26 % 0.3100 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.014 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.566 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,177.10 -0.47 % -$5.60 US CRUDE $46.81 0.93 % 0.43 > Asian shares rise to two-month highs, dollar gains on US data > Wall Street jumps to 8-week high on financials, healthcare > Nikkei up on real estate, financials, as stimulus expectations build > Yields rise after U.S. data supports view of earlier Fed rate hike > Dollar gains on U.S. inflation data, ECB easing expectations > Gold hovers below 3-1/2-month high, but eyes weekly gain > London copper hovers near 1-month top as supply dwindles > Oil prices snap week-long fall on U.S. output decline (Reporting by Atul Prakash)
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