European Factors to Watch - Equities seen boosted by Obama win
LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Europe's main stock indexes are seen pushing higher at the open on Wednesday after a U.S. election victory for President Barack Obama removed uncertainty over leadership of the world's biggest economy. Financial spreadbetters said buying activity picked up after Republican challenger Mitt Romney conceded the election, with the Obama win also expected to spell the continuation of easy monetary policy and low interest rates at the Federal Reserve. However, gains are likely to be limited as attention switches to the "fiscal cliff" of some $600 billion of spending cuts and tax increases that threaten to send the United States back into recession next year. To avoid the grave consequences for the economy and markets, Obama now faces tough negotiations. "Of course there were fears that this was much closer than what it's ended up being. The initial reaction is that it's positive that there is no political deadlock and that there is some sort of result but it's likely now that the focus will switch on to the other issues like the fiscal cliff and budget deficit," said Ioan Smith, strategist at Knight Capital. "That divide remains the real political crisis as we approach the end of the year." Futures for Euro STOXX 50 and France's CAC added 1.0 percent, while those for Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE gained 0.8 percent each by 0738 GMT. Futures on the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to 1,430.70 points, reversing overnight losses after hitting a session low of 1,411.20. "This looks like a classic quantitative easing response ... There had been some concern in the run-up to the election that a Romney victory would translate to premature monetary (and fiscal) tightening, so today's outcome should reinforce expectations for easy policy to be in place for longer," strategists at Citi said in a note. "The question is whether or not there is scope for this knee-jerk response to extend in the hours and days ahead." The EuroSTOXX 50 added 0.7 percent to 2,534.86 points on Tuesday in light volumes, at just 48 percent of the 90-day daily average. The euro zone benchmark index has been stuck in a consolidation range of around 160 points since hitting multi-month highs at 2,604.77 in mid-September, with a mixed corporate earnings season and ongoing concerns about the euro zone crisis. The latter remained in focus on Wednesday, with the Greek coalition government facing a parliamentary vote on an unpopular austerity package needed to secure the next tranche of an international bailout and avert bankruptcy. The measures are expected to pass with narrow majority. Euro zone retail sales and German industrial output data for September will offer further signs of the depth of the crisis in the region, which has increasingly forced European firms to look abroad for profit growth. Weakness in Europe pushed Danish brewer Carlsberg to miss analysts' forecasts on quarterly operating profit. Adding to gloomy corporate newsflow, Dutch financial group ING unveiled job cut plans in insurance and commercial banking divisions, while Europe's No. 2 insurer Axa lowered targets for coming years. On the upside, Alstom reported a rise in orders and Delhaize beat profit expectations by cutting costs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0738 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,428.39 0.79 % 11.13 NIKKEI 8,972.89 -0.03 % -2.26 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 0.86 % 4.48 EUR/USD 1.2873 0.47 % 0.0060 USD/JPY 80.26 -0.1 % -0.0800 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.723 -- -0.03 10-YR BUND YLD 1.462 -- 0.03 SPOT GOLD $1,728.60 0.77 % $13.26 US CRUDE $88.80 0.1 % 0.09 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar slips, Treasuries gain as Obama re-elected > US STOCKS-Futures off lows as election called for Obama > Nikkei recoups losses after Obama victory; Nissan rises > TREASURIES-Bonds reduce losses, impact of jobs data fades > FOREX-Dollar falls broadly after Obama heads for re-election > PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-week high, all eyes on U.S. vote > METALS-LME copper rises as projected Obama win hits dollar > Brent holds below $111 on demand worries, Middle East tension * NOKIA - The No. 2 U.S. mobile provider AT&T set a $50 starting price for Nokia's latest Windows smartphones, which the struggling Finnish phone maker is pinning its hopes on for a turnaround. It will sell the Nokia Lumia 820 for $49.99 and the flagship Lumia 920 phone for $99.99 undercutting key rivals. * CARLSBERG - The Danish brewer's third-quarter operating profit rose nearly 10 percent to 3.60 billion Danish crowns ($617.75 million), slightly lagging market estimate, as Western Europe sales remained sluggish. * DELHAIZE - The Belgium-based supermarket group beat third-quarter profit expectations as it paid lower bonuses in the United States and cut costs. * MUNICH RE - The re-insurer raised its full year net profit target to around 3 billion euros ($3.84 billion) after surging investment income and moderate damage claims helped it beat the highest forecast in a Reuters poll for third quarter net profit. * HOLCIM - The Swiss cement maker is banking on rising demand for cement in emerging markets and North America to shield it from lower sales in Europe for the rest of 2012. * BURBERRY - The British luxury goods group beat forecasts with a 6 percent rise in first-half profit as its most wealthy shoppers continued to spend despite a faltering global economy. * BNP PARIBAS - BNP Paribas posted forecast-beating third-quarter results on the back of strong capital-markets trading and a drop in euro zone losses, helping it meet balance-sheet targets ahead of schedule. The bank is to focus on cutting costs as Europe's economic slowdown deepens, its chief executive told Reuters Insider television. * ALSTOM - The French transport and power engineering company posted an 11 percent rise in first-half net income on Wednesday on the back of a 4 percent increase in sales. * AXA - Europe's No. 2 insurer said it expected underlying earnings per share growth to remain in a 5 to 10 percent range between 2010 and 2015, in contrast to a previous 10 percent target. * RENAULT - The automaker demanded pay and working time concessions from its French workers and warned that the outcome of talks may affect future production plans, unions said. * L'OREAL - Sales trends continued to worsen by the end of September for the third quarter running, particularly for its luxury and professional products, the world's biggest cosmetics group said. * BARRY CALLEBAUT - The world's largest maker of chocolate products reported better-than-expected results for its 2011/12 financial year despite the difficult environment in Europe. * BHP BILLITON - The top global miner has started hunting for a new chief executive in a process that could take one to two years, the Financial Times reported. * NOVARTIS - An experimental Novartis drug to treat hospitalized acute heart failure patients reduced deaths by 37 percent compared with a placebo and appeared to be safe, according to a late stage clinical trial. * ROCHE - The world's biggest maker of cancer drugs said U.S. health regulators granted a priority review to its experimental breast cancer drug TDM-1, expediting the review process for the marketing application of the drug. * INTESA SANPAOLO - The chairman of Intesa Sanpaolo's supervisory board on Tuesday denied ever discussing any plans for a merger with Unicredit , following media talks over a potential defensive tie-up with Italy's biggest bank by assets. * HOCHTIEF - The builder said its 2012 earnings target would be challenging to meet as it reported Q3 pretax profit of 279.5 mln eur.
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