October 4, 2012 / 5:42 AM / 5 years ago

European Factors to Watch-Shares seen up, focus on ECB

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - European shares were set to rise on Thursday,
mirroring gains in the United States and Asia, with investors positioning for
more soothing data and some clarity on Spain's likely aid request during a
European Central Bank press conference after its rate verdict.
    Data showed on Wednesday that U.S. companies added more jobs than expected
last month, while the services sector picked up, suggesting the economy remained
on track for modest growth. Focus will be on Thursday's jobless claims data and
Friday's non-farm payrolls to see if the numbers surprise on the upside.
    Some investors expect that the ECB President Mario Draghi may provide hints
about Spain's likely move regarding an international bailout following its rate
decision. Only 14 of 73 economists polled by Reuters expect it to cut rates.
    "If Draghi gives any indication that a request from Spain is close or that
the conditionality linked to it will not be as strict as we've seen with other
bailed out countries, we should see the markets rally," James Hughes, chief
market analyst at Alpari, said in a note.
    "An agreement here will show real progress being made by the eurozone which
will undoubtedly be reflected in the markets by an increase in risk appetite." 
    Financial spreadbetters predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to open 12 to
17 points higher, or as much as 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX to gain 34
to 37 points, or as much as 0.5 percent, and France's CAC-40 to increase
14 to 19 points, or as much as 0.3 percent.
     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0533 GMT                                     
                                                   LAST     PCT CHG    NET CHG
     S&P 500                                   1,450.99      0.36 %       5.24
     NIKKEI                                    8,843.68      1.11 %      96.81
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                         0.12 %       0.61
     EUR/USD                                     1.2924      0.15 %     0.0020
     USD/JPY                                      78.58      0.15 %     0.1200
     10-YR US TSY YLD                             1.634          --       0.02
     10-YR BUND YLD                               1.436          --      -0.01
     SPOT GOLD                                $1,781.26      0.22 %      $3.87
     US CRUDE                                    $88.29      0.17 %       0.15
    * Asian shares steady, investors wait for more US data       
    * Nikkei up from 4-wk low, tech shares drop on HP warning    
    * Wall St stays afloat on firm data but HP drags             
    * Bonds little changed before Fed minutes, jobs data         
    * Yen near 2-week low ahead of BOJ, euro eyes ECB            
    * Gold holds ground; eyes on central banks, U.S. data        
    * Copper slips as growth worries linger; US data eyed        
    * Brent hovers above $108 as economic worries deter investors
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