LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen broadly steady on Wednesday after two sessions of falls, although stalling momentum meant a key index was unlikely to be able to bounce back towards multi-year highs after losing ground this week.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open 2 to 4 points higher, or up as much as 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX to open 8 to 10 points lower, or down as much as 0.1 percent, and France’s CAC 40 to open 7 points lower, or down 0.2 percent.
“These marginal gains and losses seen in three of Europe’s major indices is quite reflective of the overall mood in the markets at the moment,” Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari, said in a note.
“Investors aren’t exactly feeling negative about the outlook for the global economy, or the markets for that matter, but they are being very cautious right now.”
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed down 0.2 percent at 1,333.28 points on Tuesday, posting its second straight day of losses following a streak of nine straight positive days - its longest winning streak since October.
The index is down 1.4 percent so far this week, and is set to snap a three-week rally which saw the index post its highest close since May 2008 on Friday.
Appetite for stocks was boosted by a recovery on Wall Street overnight, although rising gold and oil prices demonstrated the market’s vulnerability to continued tension over the situation in Ukraine, where the United States accused Russian agents and special forces on Tuesday of stirring separatist unrest.
Alcoa kicked off U.S. earnings season on Tuesday, reporting earnings ahead of expectations, even as revenues missed forecasts.
“There are a number of reasons to be cautious right now, whether that be corporate earnings season, which people are fairly pessimistic about, or the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine that has flared up again this week,” Erlam said.
Stocks that are sensitive to a squeeze in consumer spending could be in focus, after British retailers slashed prices at their fastest rate since 2006, while airline Deutsche Lufthansa reports traffic numbers.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia rides Wall St rebound, firm yen hits Tokyo > US STOCKS-Wall St snaps 3-day losing streak as tech rebounds > Nikkei at 2-week low after BOJ quells stimulus hopes > TREASURIES-Prices gain after solid three-year note auction > FOREX-Dollar takes a dive, yen up as BOJ dashes stimulus hopes > PRECIOUS-Gold near 2-wk high; Ukraine tensions support > METALS-Copper holds near one-week high, weaker dollar supports > Brent holds steady above $107 on Ukraine; U.S. oil stocks surge weighs
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BMW is planning a second North American factory to cater to the rising demand for its vehicles, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
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The lender is one of eight suitors short-listed in the sale process to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Moody’s said it changed the ratings outlook to “stable” from “negative” and affirmed Vivendi’s senior unsecured ratings at Baa2. The outlook change came after Vivendi agreed to sell its telecom unit SFR to Numericable in a deal valued at over 17 billion euros. The substantial disposal proceeds should allow Vivendi to achieve meaningful de-leveraging in the near term, Moody’s said.
The French carmaker said it signed a new 3 billion euro syndicated credit facility aimed at strengthening its “financial profile, robustness and financial security”.
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Share prices on India’s BSE Ltd stock exchange stopped updating for about 15-20 minutes in morning trade after BSE on Monday introduced a new trading system for shares under license from Deutsche Boerse.
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March traffic figures due at 1100 GMT.
Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, through its Cintra subsidiary, is racing to refinance about 5.8 billion euros of debt backing the Indiana toll road project in the United States, Expansion reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
The project is a 50/50 joint venture between Cintra and Macquarie Infrastructure Group.
The defence and aerospace group has suffered a sharp rise in cyber attacks since it became clear it would develop a more advanced model of its Gripen fighter jet, Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe told Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.
Buskhe said the attacks appeared primarily focused on accessing information about performance and capabilities of the Gripen and had showed no sign of abating.
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The U.S. Cass Freight index, which measures North American shipping activity, rose 6.6 percent in March from February for shipping volumes, the data compiler said in its monthly report. Since the turn of the year, volumes are up 0.4 percent.
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Novartis said it had appointed Jeff George as Alcon division head as Kevin Buehler retires, and named Richard Francis as Sandoz division head.
Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Atul Prakash