European Factors to Watch-Shares set for best week in 10 months

Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:44am GMT

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - European shares were set to edge higher on Friday
and on track for the best week in about 10 months on expectations that the pace
of global economic recovery was picking up and Greece was closer to getting the
next tranche of aid.
    Equity investors were putting their bets on a likely deal on Greece on
Monday, when the country's international creditors will hold another round of
talks on releasing the next instalment of aid for the debt-stricken country,
analysts said.
   A senior Greek government official said on Friday that G reece's
international lenders have agreed on new measures to cut its debt pile further
but it still has to fill a 10 billion euros ($12.9 billion) gap to gain the
IMF's approval. [ ID:nA8 E8KI00D] 
   "There seems to be a general consensus that something needs to be done on
Greece. Besides Greece, there is a very good chance that we will, before
Christmas, have a deal on averting the U.S. 'fiscal cliff'," Philippe Gijsels,
head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.
    "These two positive drivers should make for a strong month of December,
which traditionally is a fairly good month anyway. We remain buyers of the dips
and continue to focus on financials, which will benefit the most from a Greek
deal, and on technology."
    Futures for Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC
 were 0.1 to 0.2 percent higher. Financial spreadbetters earlier
predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to open as much as 0.1 percent firmer,
hel ped by positive economic data this week.
    Figures showed that Germany grew in the third quarter of the year, albeit at
a slower rate than previously, helped by exports and private consumption. The
data followed robust manufacturing surveys from the United States and China, the
world's biggest economies, in the previous two sessions. 
    Investors also focused on a summit of EU leaders to discuss a new seven-year
budget. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy adjourned the summit early
on Friday to allow time for heads of state and government to study a revised set
of proposals, officials said. 
    The officials said EU leaders would gather again at midday (1100 GMT) to
open round-the-table negotiations over the long-term budget, a framework of
around 1 trillion euros in spending for the years 2014-2020.
    The FTSEurofirst 300 is set to rise for a fifth straight session
after gaining 0.6 percent to 1,103.43 points in the previous session on strong
manufacturing data from China, the world's second biggest economy. 
    The pan-European index climbed to a two-week high on Thursday and is up 3.4
percent so far this week, the best weekly performance since early February.
    "Stocks have rebounded on a possible deal over the U.S. Fiscal Cliff and aid
payment to Greece. I am still overweight EU stocks compared to U.S.," Ion-Marc
Valahu, fund manager at CLAIRINVEST in Geneva, said.
    Valahu said he had invested in large-cap stocks having potential to offer
attractive dividends yields in the sectors such as telecoms, utilities, energy,
banks and insurance, adding that he had an "underweight" stance on defensive
stocks.
    
     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0733 GMT                                
                                              LAST     PCT CHG    NET CHG
     S&P 500                              1,391.03      0.23 %       3.22
     NIKKEI                               9,366.80      1.56 %     144.28
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                    0.91 %       4.69
     EUR/USD                                1.2904      0.17 %     0.0022
     USD/JPY                                 82.35     -0.12 %    -0.1000
     10-YR US TSY YLD                        1.697          --       0.02
     10-YR BUND YLD                          1.442          --       0.01
     SPOT GOLD                           $1,731.90      0.16 %      $2.85
     US CRUDE                               $87.19     -0.22 %      -0.19
 
    * Asia shares set for best week in 2 months                  
    * Nikkei climbs 1.6 pct to 6-1/2 month high on softer yen    
    * Yen edges up after slide; Greece optimism supports euro    
    * LME copper steady, eyes second week of gains on China      
    * Brent falls towards $110 on weak Europe data               
    * Gold headed for weekly gain, US fiscal worry supports      
    
    COMPANY NEWS
    
    VOLKSWAGEN 
    The company plans to invest 14 billion euros ($18.04 billion) in China over
the next four years, its China chief was quoted by the China Daily newspaper as
saying, as it speeds up its expansion in the world's largest autos market.
 
     
    EDF 
    The French state-owned power group said its board had decided to pay an
interim cash dividend of 0.57 euros per share to shareholders on Dec. 17.
 
 
    SIEMENS 
    The German industrial conglomerate is expected to present details on the
planned spin-off of its Osram lighting unit on Nov. 28, sources told Reuters.
 
     
    XSTRATA 
    Miner Xstrata has completed construction of the first production line of the
smelter at its Koniambo ferronickel project in New Caledonia and expects the
first metal to be produced from the site in January 2013. 
    
    BMW 
    The German carmaker sees continued double-digit sales gains in China next
year as the luxury car market there, at 9-10 percent of overall sales, still
lags the developed world, where the luxury segment accounts for 15 percent of
the total. 
   
    EADS  
    Germany plans to buy a 3 percent stake in planemaker EADS from France as the
two governments strive to take equal stakes in the Airbus parent, German daily
Handelsblatt reported, citing German government sources. 
    
    DELTA LLOYD 
    Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd has cancelled the sale of its German operations to
Nomura Holdings because of worsened economic circumstances and
difficulty in gaining approval from German regulator BaFin. 

    UBS 
    UBS is nearing a settlement in the coming days with regulators in
Switzerland and Britain for control failures that led to a $2.3 billion rogue
trading loss, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. For related
news, click on 
    
    BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA 
    Italy's government is set to take a bigger stake than originally expected in
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena after the European Commission demanded changes
to a state aid scheme for the country's third biggest lender.