LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - European shares looked set for a bounce-back at the open on Thursday, with futures up more than 1 percent after a late rally on Wall Street and gains in Asia, following efforts by China’s central bank to slow the sharp descent of the yuan that has rocked global markets.
Euro STOXX 50 futures were up 1.4 percent at 0607 GMT, with national benchmark futures indexes broadly in line.
European equities have fallen almost 4 percent this week, hitting their lowest level in a month after China allowed its currency to weaken sharply, heaping pressure on euro zone exporters such as automakers and luxury goods groups. But there were signs the pace of weakness was slowing on Thursday after the central bank set a midpoint for the currency that was not as weak as feared.
“In Europe...autos will inevitably stand out,” said Nick Lawson, Deutsche Bank Managing Director, in a note to clients. “How much juice there will be after the opening prints is another question.”
Swiss packaged food group Nestle reported slightly worse-than-expected half-year sales on Thursday, hurt by a recall of its Maggi noodles in India, while Germany’s No.2 utility RWE posted weaker than expected profits in the first half, hit by a mix of low wholesale power prices, a small footprint in renewables and problems at its UK business.
The financial sector was also in the spotlight after Frankfurt prosecutors said they have charged seven employees and one former employee of a major Frankfurt-based bank following an investigation into suspected tax fraud in the trading of carbon permits. Prosecutors did not name the bank on Thursday but sources familiar with the matter identified it as Deutsche Bank.
While fears over Greece’s ability to avert financial ruin appear to have receded, The European Union moved to keep Greece on a tight rein after its latest bailout. Sources said the 85 billion euro deal will be reviewed by lenders in October and any discussion of debt relief will only come at a later stage.
The world’s largest packaged food company reported slightly worse-than-expected half-year sales on Thursday, hurt by a recall of its Maggi noodles in India.
German industrial group ThyssenKrupp reported a jump of more than a third in its quarterly operating profit, driven by its elevators and European steel units and beating forecasts.
Germany’s No.2 utility, posted weaker than expected profits in the first half, hit by a mix of low wholesale power prices, a small footprint in renewables, high exposure to coal and gas and problems at its UK business.
The Dutch insurer reported Q2 net income 350 million euros versus 343 million euros a year ago and increased its interim dividend.
The company is buying U.S.-based GeneWEAVE to strengthen its diagnostics business.
FCC, BANKIA Spanish builder FCC on Wednesday said creditors of the infrastructure unit Globalvia it shares with Bankia had taken over the company, scuppering a deal struck in July to sell it to a Malaysian investment fund.
TELEFONICA Moody’s has downgraded Telefonica Brasil’s rating to Baa2, outlook stable
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asian shares gain on hopes China slowing yuan descent > Wall St ends near flat after late-day rally > Nikkei up but Topix down as investors digest yuan move > U.S. debt rally fizzles as Wall St steadies > Gold slips on dollar, but stays near 3-week top on Fed doubts > London copper, aluminium ease on China’s demand concerns > Oil prices steady after U.S. stock draw, but China outlook drags
Reporting by Lionel Laurent