LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Futures markets pointed to a negative open for European shares on Tuesday, despite a set of buoyant earnings, with traders pointing to the after-effects of surprisingly weak U.S. data on Monday and market declines in Asia exacerbated by relatively thin mid-August trading volumes.
UK inflation data was also due later, with economists expecting it to stay flat at zero. The timing of a potential interest-rate hike was under fresh scrutiny after Bank of England official Kristin Forbes warned Britain’s economic recovery could be damaged if the central bank waited too long to raise rates.
Euro STOXX 50 futures were trading 0.5 percent lower at 0645 GMT, with German DAX futures and French CAC futures down 0.3 to 0.5 percent.
“There has been a poor session in Asia and I don’t think investors are getting involved...Basic inertia and low volumes are dragging markets lower,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.
Pan-European equities are down some 7 percent since their April peaks, with Greece’s ongoing debt drama and jitters over China’s recent move to allow its currency to weaken balanced by the European Central Bank’s policy easing and one of the best earnings seasons in five years.
Traders said there was little in the way of fresh risk-taking and that volumes were relatively thin.
“The reality is that we are still languishing around the lows from the China devaluation sell-off,” said Jonathan Sudaria, trader at London Capital Group.
On the corporate earnings front, Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli confirmed its full-year sales target after net profit rose 15.6 percent in the first half. Its shares were expected to open up around 2.1 percent higher.
The world’s biggest brickmaker, Wienerberger, raised its 2015 core profit guidance after reporting second-quarter net profit above market expectations.
Greece also remained in the spotlight ahead of a Bundestag vote on its new bailout plan. Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s German conservatives largely support Greece’s new bailout plan before a parliamentary vote this week, but top party officials want the IMF to take part, sources involved in party talks on Monday said.
Lindt & Spruengli
Fresenius Medical Care
UK CPI Inflation 08:30
Deutsche Bank has reorganised its fixed-income unit to make it more accountable and efficient, the Financial Times reported, citing a memo to staff.
The industrial group and the operator of Berlin’s new airport (FBB) have both filed charges because of suspected fraud, FBB said on Monday.
The Swiss chocolate maker on Tuesday confirmed its full-year sales target after net profit rose 15.6 percent in the first half following the acquisition of U.S. rival Russell Stover last year.
U.S. safety regulators on Monday said they have directed the U.S. units of Volkswagen and air bag maker Takata Corp 7312.T to provide information on the June rupture of a side air bag in a 2015 model VW Tiguan.
The Dutch ACM competition regulator said investment firm Egeria intends to buy the Traffic and Infrastructure division of bankrupt engineering services firm Imtech.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares bounce back from 2-year lows, dollar firm > US STOCKS-Wall St up on housing data; Disney boosts media stocks > Nikkei turns negative as weakness in Asian stocks dampen mood > TREASURIES-Prices gain after weak NY manufacturing data > FOREX-Dollar in favour with Fed back in focus, yuan scare ebbs > PRECIOUS-Gold struggles as U.S. rate hike looms > METALS-London copper stuck near six-year lows; dollar drags > Oil prices fall again as U.S., Asia demand looks set to weaken
Reporting by Lionel Laurent