European Factors to Watch-Shares seen edging higher, focus on earnings
(Adds company news, updates futures prices) LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a slightly higher open on Thursday, extending the previous session's gains, with strong earnings reports from companies such as Adidas and Societe Generale seen supporting the market. German sportswear company Adidas raised its outlook for full-year sales and profits after reporting better-than-expected results for the third quarter, French bank Societe Generale saw its third-quarter income rise 2.4 percent and Credit Agricole reported its highest quarterly net profit in more than four years. The third quarter earnings season has gathered pace in Europe. About 60 percent companies have reported their results so far, of which 50 percent have met or beaten analysts' earnings forecasts. On the revenue front, 46 percent companies have achieved or surpassed expectations. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were up 0.1 to 0.4 percent by 0752 GMT. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed off its intra-day highs in the previous session after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said a rate hike in December was a live possibility. The index ended 0.5 percent higher. "The Fed reaffirmed its rate hike intentions. However, traders aren't too shaken as they pin their hopes on (ECB President) Mario Draghi keeping dovish hopes," London Capital Group said in a note. Draghi said earlier this week that the European Central Bank's policymakers will review the degree of monetary stimulus they have deployed when they meet in December and remain willing and able to act if needed. COMPANY NEWS: EDF France's EDF said sales over the first nine months of 2015 rose 2.8 percent to 53.8 billion euros as positive weather effects offset an unfavourable market environment. ENGIE The French energy company said it would book an asset writedown in the fourth quarter but confirmed its 2015 guidance. CREDIT AGRICOLE Credit Agricole SA reported its highest quarterly net profit in more than four years as France's biggest retail lender benefited from consumer demand growth and strength in insurance. The French bank said the board of directors had elected Dominique Lefebvre as chairman of Crédit agricole S.A. replacing Jean-Marie Sander. Lefebre also chairs the SAS Rue La Boetie, the majority shareholder of Crédit Agricole S.A. BRENNTAG The world's largest chemicals distributor cut its 2015 core profit guidance on weak demand from customers in the U.S. oil and gas industry, saying the $440 million acquisition of two U.S. lubricants distributors would make its business less cyclical. ADIDAS German sportswear company Adidas raised its outlook for full-year sales and profits on Thursday after it reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter as its golf business recovered from a recent slump. ADECCO The world's biggest staffing group posted a surprise half-billion euro net loss in the third quarter due to a 740 million euro ($804.53 million) impairment of goodwill after regulatory changes in Germany and a weaker macroeconomic outlook in certain markets, the group said. SOCIETE GENERALE The French bank saw its third-quarter income rise 2.4 percent as growth at its retail network and lower risk provisions helped offset weakness in investment banking. AIRBUS GROUP France on Wednesday said Airbus had won orders from two Korean airlines, which at listed prices are worth some $6.8 billion. ASTRAZENECA Drugmaker AstraZeneca lifted its full-year forecast for revenue and earnings on Thursday, after reporting third-quarter results broadly in line with analyst expectations. WM MORRISON Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 supermarket group, reported another fall in quarterly underlying sales, hurt by the deflating effect of its own price cuts. SCHRODERS British fund manager Schroders said on Thursday that assets under management had fallen 4.9 percent in the three months to the end of September, hit by weak investment returns. RSA British insurer RSA's underlying premium income rose by 1 percent in the first nine months of 2015, it said on Thursday, calling Zurich Insurance's abandoned bid for the company a "distraction" in the third quarter. RIO TINTO Rio Tinto said on Thursday it expects to see strong growth in iron ore demand in countries outside of China as the global seaborne market expands. ALSTOM The French engineering group said on Wednesday it would launch a share buy-back program worth 3.2 billion euros on Dec. 23, two days after completing the sale of its energy business to U.S. General Electric. ROCHE The drugmaker is planning launches or pivotal data for up to eight new medicines in the next three years as it seeks to fend off competition from copycat versions of its older drugs. GENERALI Italian insurer Generali said its third-quarter net profit fell 18.2 percent as market volatility prompted it to forego the sale of some securities, but it still expected 2015 earnings to be well above last year's. NATIXIS The French investment bank Natixis announced plans to acquire Spanish financial advisory firm 360 Corporate Finance on Wednesday as part of a plan to grow by focusing on businesses with low capital consumption. The group also reported a 1 percent decline in quarterly net profit, weighed down by weakness in fixed-income trading due to low client activity in the third quarter. ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP The company said it expected to meet its financial targets after posting a 79 percent year-on-year drop in third-quarter net profit. UBISOFT The French video games maker confirmed its annual profit and sales targets after reporting softer quarterly results hurt by fewer new game launches with key titles coming out later this year. DEUTSCHE BANK The lender will pay a $258 million penalty to settle charges that it did business on behalf of entities in U.S.-sanctioned countries like Iran and Syria, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Deutsche Telekom's German mobile service revenue slid 0.4 percent in the third quarter, continuing a slowdown that took hold in the second quarter, when they were flat. HEIDELBERGCEMENT The cement maker lowered its sales outlook for the current year, pointing to weakening cement demand in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia, where investments fell. VOLKSWAGEN Moody's downgraded the carmaker's ratings and said admissions of false CO2 output levels may impact future earnings. Germany is to retest all Volkswagen car models to gauge their genuine emissions levels after new revelations from the carmaker six weeks into its biggest-ever corporate scandal pushed the government to act. SWISSCOM The company kept its outlook for the full year despite third-quarter profit that missed market expectations amid price reductions for roaming fees, fallout from the strong Swiss franc and more intense competition. BRENNTAG The world's largest chemicals distributor cut its full-year core profit guidance on Thursday, citing difficult macroeconomic conditions. Separately, the company said it was buying two leading U.S. distributors, J.A.M. Distributing Company and G.H. Berlin-Windward. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0633 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,102.31 -0.35 % -7.48 NIKKEI 19116.41 1 % 189.5 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 428.06 -0.46 % -1.98 EUR/USD 1.0863 0.01 % 0.0001 USD/JPY 121.49 -0.03 % -0.0400 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.223 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.599 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,109.16 0.19 % $2.10 US CRUDE $46.38 0.13 % 0.06 > Asian stocks falter as Fed signals a December rate rise > Wall St ends down after energy slide, Yellen comments > Nikkei closes near 10-week high on weak yen, corporate earnings > Two-year yields spike after Fed's Yellen hints at Dec rate hike > Dollar off highs amid caution ahead of U.S. payrolls report > Gold near 1-month low as Yellen signals December rate hike > London copper steady as U.S. economic prospects brighten > Crude futures edge up, but U.S. inventory build drags (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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