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European Factors to Watch -Shares to open slightly lower
May 30, 2013 / 5:42 AM / 5 years ago

European Factors to Watch -Shares to open slightly lower

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open slightly lower
on Thursday, steadying after the previous day's heavy losses but staying
rangebound on uncertainty over when the U.S. Federal Reserve will wind down its
stimulus programme.
    Futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's
DAX and for France's CAC were between 0.2 and 0.3 percent lower
at 0630 GMT.
    On Wednesday, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed 1.8 percent
lower at 1,223.50, its second biggest one-day decline of the year.
    That took losses to 2.8 percent since last Thursday, when the U.S. Federal
Reserve revealed it might wind back its bond purchases over the next few policy
    Senior Federal Reserve official Eric Rosengren reiterated that position on
Wednesday evening, but said an abrupt end to purchases would be undesirable.
    "The uncertainty around the Federal Reserve's policy is still very much
driving things," Ioan Smith, director at Knight Capital, said.
    "Because people are coming to expect tapering at some point, the
quantitative easing itself, as it continues, is becoming less effective, and
there's an unwind in all the trades that are related to that."
     The lack of clarity over the Fed programme looked set to cap the
FTSEurofirst below a five-year high set last week at 1,258.09.
    Eyes were on the U.S. initial jobless claims data release at 1230 GMT.
Stronger data out of the U.S. earlier in the week prompted a fall in stock
markets, as it was taken as a sign that stimulus would be tapered sooner.
    "As the U.S. finally looks to be finally hauling itself out of the slump and
the prospects of the Fed tapering become more real, European economies are
staring up from the bottom of the pit with angst at the thought of having to be
judged on their own fundamentals alone," Jonathan Sudaria, sales trader at
London Capital Group, said. 
                                           LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                               1,648.36   -0.7 %    -11.7
 NIKKEI                               13,589.03  -5.15 %  -737.43
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                         546.48  -0.54 %    -2.96
 EUR/USD                                 1.2968   0.23 %   0.0030
 USD/JPY                                 100.61  -0.51 %  -0.5200
 10-YR US TSY YLD                         2.108       --    -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                           1.510       --    -0.03
 SPOT GOLD                            $1,409.11    1.2 %   $16.66
 US CRUDE                                $92.94   -0.2 %    -0.19
  > Asian shares, dollar pressured by uncertain QE outlook         
  > Wall St falls as bond yields hit high dividend stocks        
  > Nikkei slumps to near one-month low                 
  > TREASURIES-Prices gain, take yields off 13-month highs         
  > Dollar remains under pressure against yen                
  > Gold off intraday low; Fed stimulus uncertainty weighs        
  > Copper at near 2-week low on fears over stumulus end        
  > Brent regains some ground, rises towards $103 on weaker dollar    
    The outsourcing firm plans to close two major O2 call centres and cut
thousands of jobs after winning a big contract last week to manage the mobile
phone operator's customer services, a newspaper reported. 
    The drugs group recently received a 23 pound ($34.77) per share offer from
U.S. rival Bristol-Myers, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
    Carrefour said it was setting up a joint venture with distribution group
CFAO to develop various store formats in Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast,
the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. Carrefour
will own 45 percent. Financial terms were not disclosed. 
    France has signed a deal to buy 34 twin-engine, medium-sized NH90 military
helicopters from the NHIndustries joint venture, the Defence Ministry said.
    The telecom and construction group said it won a 138 million euro contract
relating to a student accommodation development on the campus of the University
of Hertfordshire, north of London. 
    France Telecom plans to introduce quadruple-play offers under its Sosh brand
aimed at taking on low-cost rival Iliad, Les Echos reported. 
    France plans to sell up to around 10 million shares in the Paris airports
operator, although it would still retain a majority stake, French Finance
Minister Pierre Moscovici said. 
    Europe's largest DIY retailer posted a near-30 percent drop in first quarter
profit, much steeper than expected, as weak demand and poor weather continued to
hit trade in its key markets. 
    The UK Competition Commission said it may force the low cost carrier to
reduce its stake in Aer Lingus, because the stake could reduce competition on
routes between Great Britain and Ireland.
    The British water company which earlier in May rejected a takeover bid,
posted annual profit slightly below expectations in a results statement which
did not mention the potential approach. #

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