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Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to pause from multi-year highs

Published 27-02-2015, 01:00 pm
© Reuters.  Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to pause from multi-year highs
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PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open steady on Friday, taking a breather from their sharp two-month rally that has propelled regional indexes to 7-year highs, with BASF BASFn.DE in focus after posting forecast-beating results.

Quarterly operating earnings at the world's largest chemicals company rose a better-than-expected 2.8 percent, as strong farming pesticides and basic petrochemicals businesses offset the hit from lower crude prices on its oil and gas division. ID:nL5N0W109Y

Airbus AIR.PA will also be in focus after the group took a charge of 551 million euros ($618 million) due to latest delays on the A400M military transporter and adjusted civil production rates as it posted higher revenue and core profit. ID:nWEB00RRR

About two-third into Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies have met or beaten analyst forecasts. Fourth-quarter earnings are set to grow 14.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, which would be Europe's best earnings season in 3-1/2 years.

At 0730 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 STXEc1 , for Germany's DAX FDXc1 and for France's CAC FCEc1 were flat to down 0.2 percent.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0730 GMT:

LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500

.SPX

2,110.74 -0.15 %

-3.12 NIKKEI

.N225

18797.94

0.06 %

12.15 MSCI ASIA EX-JP

.MIAPJ0000PUS

488.15 -0.11 %

-0.55 EUR/USD

EUR/USD

1.1212

0.14 % 0.0016 USD/JPY

USD/JPY

119.30 -0.09 % -0.1100 10-YR US TSY YLD U.S. 10-Year Bond Yield

2.019

--

0.01 10-YR BUND YLD

EU10YT=RR

0.310

--

0.01 SPOT GOLD

XAU/USD

$1,210.25

0.16 %

$1.95 US CRUDE

CLc1

$49.12

1.97 %

0.95 > GLOBAL MARKETS-OIL'S DROP CHILLS ASIAN STOCKS MKTS/GLOB

> US STOCKS-NASDAQ RESUMES CLIMB; S&P 500, DOW FALL WITH ENERGY .N

> TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.06 PCT .T

> TREASURIES-BOND PRICES DIP ON HIGHER JAN CORE (NSE:CORE.NS) CPI, WEAK 7-YR AUCTION US/N

> FOREX-DOLLAR PAUSES AFTER RALLYING ON U.S. DATA, FED REMARKS FRX/

> GOLD HOLDS UP ON CHINESE DEMAND, SET TO SNAP 4-WEEK LOSING RUN GOL/

> COPPER NEARS $6,000, EYES BIGGEST MONTHLY GAIN SINCE SEPT 2012 MET/L

> BRENT RISES ABOVE $61, SET FOR BIGGEST MONTHLY GAIN SINCE 2009 O/R

COMPANY NEWS:

AIRBUS AIR.PA

Europe's Airbus Group (PARIS:AIR) took a charge of 551 million euros ($618 million) due to latest delays on the A400M military transporter and adjusted civil production rates as it posted higher revenue and core profit on Friday.

Airbus also said it would cut the production rate of its A330 widebody jet to six a month from the first quarter of 2016 as it also ramps up production of its top-selling A320 family. AIR.PA

PEARSON PSON.L

British publisher reported an as expected 5 percent rise in 2014 underlying adjusted operating profit and reiterated its pledge to return to earnings growth in 2015 as two years of painful restructuring come to an end. PSON.L

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP LLOY.L

Lloyds has reported its first dividend since its bailout during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 at a cost of 20 billion pounds ($31 billion) to taxpayers. LLOY.L

IAG ICAG.L

British Airways-owner International Airlines Group (LONDON:ICAG) upgraded its profit forecast for 2015 by over 20 percent, after reporting a slightly better than expected 81 percent jump in profit last year. ICAG.L

OLD MUTUAL OML.L

Anglo-South African financial services firm said on Friday its operating profit for 2014 rose 16 percent to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.47 billion), just above analysts' expectations. OML.L

RENTOKIL INITIAL RTO.L

British support services firm said it was confident for the year ahead but cautioned some parts of Europe remained challenging, after it posted a 58.4 percent rise in underlying full-year pretax profit. RTO.L

ERSTE GROUP BANK ERST.VI

Erste started well in 2015 and has a chance to make money in all its markets in the years ahead, Chief Executive Andreas Treichl said in a YouTube video released along with preliminary 2014 results. ERST.VI

DRUGMAKER ASTRAZENECA AZN.L

The firm has decided to carve out its early-stage antibiotic research by creating a stand-alone subsidiary company, as it sharpens its focus on other therapy areas. AZN.L

SALZGITTER SZGG.DE

The German steelmaker narrowed its pretax loss to 15 million euros ($17 million) in 2014 thanks to a deep cost-cutting programme and forecast a pretax profit in the low double-digit millions of euros for 2015 on Friday. SZGG.DE

UCB UCB.BR

Belgian pharmaceutical company forecast improved income in 2015 on Friday based on continued growth of its three newer drugs, although its profit outlook is not as bullish as that of the market. UCB.BR

RAIFFEISEN BANK RBIV.VI

The Austrian lender said on Friday it would close its branches in Russia's far east after finding that the network offered little income and had few opportunities for growth. RBIV.VI

TELECOM ITALIA TLIT.MI

Italy's cabinet will examine a plan worth 5-6 billion euros ($5.6-6.7 billion) to speed up the roll-out of broadband networks across the country at a meeting on March 3, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday. TLIT.MI

ITALIAN BANKS

Italy's government is under pressure from banks and their allies in parliament to water down a landmark reform of large cooperative banks, which the lenders fear will make them prey to foreign rivals and speculative investors. ID:nL5N0VY46C

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RDSa.L

The United Steelworkers union (USW) and representatives for several U.S. refineries discussed on Thursday a possible resumption of face-to-face negotiations to settle a 26-day strike, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters. ID:nL1N0W1051

RIO TINTO RIO.L

Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) said on Friday that in its latest moves to slash costs in response to weak commodity prices it was letting go its energy chief, rolling its coal and uranium businesses into two other units and cutting some other corporate jobs. ID:nL4N0W063C

BARCLAYS BARC.L

The bank's' decision to substantially increase its provision for forex fines indicated that a deal could be announced within weeks, Sky News reported late on Thursday. ID:nWNAB064NY

FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES FCHA.MI

Fiat Chrysler has agreed to give permanent contracts to hundreds of new hires at its Melfi plant in southern Italy currently on short-term agreements, a union said on Thursday, in an early boost for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's labour reforms. FCHA.MI

SACYR SCYR.MC

The builder said it expected double digit growth in sales and profit this year in a conference call to accompany year results after market close on Thursday. SCYR.MC

ACCIONA ANA.MC

The energy company returned to profit in 2014, it reported after market close on Thursday.

JAZZTEL JAZ.MC

The telecoms company reported 2014 core profits up 17 percent after market close on Thursday.

NOVARTIS NOVN.VX

The Japanese unit of Novartis AG said on Friday it was ordered by Japan's health ministry to halt manufacturing and sales of non-OTC drugs from March 5 to 19. NOVN.VX

BOLLORE BOLL.PA , HAVAS HAVA.PA

French industrial conglomerate Bollore said it had increased its stake in Paris-based advertising company Havas by 82.5 percent following a public exchange offer. ID:nFWN0W008Y

BONGRAIN BONG.PA

The French manufacturer of dairy products said full-year net income fell to 39.1 million euros from 48.9 million a year earlier even as revenue rose 9.6 percent to 4.61 billion euros. ID:nFWN0W0097

GROUPE FNAC FNAC.PA

The French retailer said net income more than doubled to 41 million euros in 2014. ID:nFWN0W008U

JCDECAUX JCDX.PA

The French outdoor advertising concessions operator said it won the seven-year advertising contract for the Helsinki City Transport network. ID:nFWN0W008W

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