European Factors to Watch-Shares seen flat on U.S. budget unease

Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:15pm IST

LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen opening flat on Friday,
within their recent range, with investors positioning for a tough start to
budget talks in the United States and Europe's poor economic prospects.  
    At 0727 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX 
and France's CAC were flat. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's
FTSE 100 to open 6 to 8 points lower, or as much as 0.1 percent.
    The Euro STOXX 50 index fell 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to
2,461.63 points on Thursday after data showed the euro zone had slipped into
recession and on fears of a deadlock in U.S. talks aimed at avoiding a 'fiscal
cliff' of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes.
    U.S. Democrats and Republicans were hardening their positions as President
Barack Obama and congressional leaders prepared for budget and tax negotiations
on Friday, with a top Republican vowing to overhaul the U.S. tax code next year.
 
    "It's going to be a tough market in the next few weeks because we're going
to get a lot of rumours coming out about whether there is a deal or not," Markus
Huber, a senior trader at ETX Capital, said.
    "People are ready to sell it off but nobody wants to make the first move and
risk being caught short because you had several rebounds."  
    The Euro STOXX 50 was down 5.1 percent from a seven-month closing high hit
in mid-September, as macro economic concerns were compounded by a worsening
outlook for corporate earnings.
    With more than 90 percent of the third-quarter earnings season now behind
us, the picture remains mixed, with 43 percent of companies missing consensus
estimates, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
    "This week's earlier verbal skirmishes (among U.S. lawmakers) have painted a
particularly hard line stance on both sides so if the talks prove to be as
equally uncompromising markets could take another leg lower," Jonathan Sudaria,
a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a trading note.         

     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0737 GMT                               
                                             LAST     PCT CHG    NET CHG
     S&P 500                             1,353.33     -0.16 %      -2.16
     NIKKEI                              9,024.16       2.2 %     194.44
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                   -0.2 %      -1.04
     EUR/USD                               1.2759     -0.15 %    -0.0019
     USD/JPY                                81.11     -0.04 %    -0.0300
     10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.586          --      -0.01
     10-YR BUND YLD                         1.336          --      -0.01
     SPOT GOLD                          $1,714.30     -0.05 %     -$0.89
     US CRUDE                              $85.38     -0.08 %      -0.07
  
  Asia stocks steady, Nikkei rallies on easing hopes 
  > Wall St ends flat as wary investors stay defensive              
  > Nikkei gains 1.9 pct; exporters jump on easing call             
  > TREASURIES-Prices edge up on "fiscal cliff," Israel worries     
  > Yen steadies vs dollar, euro after 2-day plunge                 
  > Gold inches down; global economic uncertainty weighs            
  > Copper eyes first week of gains in six on China prospects       
  > Brent steady at $108, Mideast violence hikes supply fears       
    
    COMPANY NEWS
    
    HENKEL 
    The German maker of Persil washing powder and Schwarzkopf hair products,
said on Friday it was still on course to reach an operating margin of 14 percent
this year. 
    
    BAYER 
    Reckitt Benckiser made a rival $1.4 billion offer for Schiff
Nutrition International late on Thursday, topping Bayer's agreed $1.2
billion deal to acquire the U.S. vitamin maker. 
    
    ALCATEL LUCENT 
    The telecom equipment maker is looking at options including asset-backed
financing to strengthen its balance sheet, it said on Thursday. 
    
    VINCI 
    The French construction and concession company has secured a $366 million
contract to build a third bridge over the Panama canal. 
    
    TELECOM ITALIA VIVENDI 
    The Italian telecoms group's board will discuss a potential bid for
Vivendi's Brazil's GVT on December 6, Chief Operating Officer Marco Patuano said
on Thursday. The board will also discuss a plan to spin off the phone company's
fixed-line network at the board. An investment offer from Naguib Sawiris is one
option to finance the GVT bid, Patuano said. 
    
    FRANCE TELECOM 
    The French phone company could look at options for its British joint venture
mobile operator EE at the end of next year, including listing some shares or
bringing in a minority investor, its CFO said. 
    
    FIAT 
    Chrysler Group LLC will invest $238 million in two plants in Michigan to
boost engine production to meet U.S. demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient
engines, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA said on
Thursday. 
    
    EADS 
    Airbus announced the sale of two A340 passenger jets to a UK services
company on Thursday, marking the final deliveries of its longest-range model but
also one of its least profitable. 
    
    PUBLICIS 
    The French advertising group struck a cautious note on the prospects for
global advertising at the end of 2012 and 2013, saying they did not know how
their clients would react in the future.
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