European Factors to Watch - Thursday, Jan. 10

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:11am GMT

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen opening higher on
Thursday, taking heart after stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data pointed
to improvement both in the metals-hungry Asian powerhouse and the broader world
economy.
    Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open 2 to 4
points higher, or as much as 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX to add 13 to 15
points, or up to 0.2 percent, and France's CAC 40 to gain 3 to 4 points,
or as much as 0.1 percent.
    The gains in the national indexes should nudge the pan-European FTSEurofirst
300 to fresh 2-year highs, building on gains of 0.7 percent the
previous session and heading for its best week in a month and a half.
    Iron ore imports in China, the world's top buyer, hit a record high in
December, likely offering relief to international mining companies.
 Meanwhile, exports out of China 3-1/2 times faster than expected
last month, flagging a cautious economic improvement globally. 
    The Chinese figures helped boost Asian stock markets overnight, while
Wall Street also closed higher thanks to a relatively solid start to the
quarterly reporting season.
    So far, 5 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported, with only one
in three missing earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
    In Europe, the results season is not due to start in earnest for another
week, although a trading update from Tesco on Thursday will offer fresh
clues into the health of the retail sector.
    Both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are expected to leave
policy unchanged at the end of their monthly meetings on Thursday, balancing
still weak economies with inflation pressures.  
    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0606 GMT:   
                                          LAST     PCT CHG    NET CHG
 S&P 500                              1,461.02      0.27 %       3.87
 NIKKEI                              10,652.64       0.7 %      74.07
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                     0.6 %       3.34
 EUR/USD                                1.3045     -0.14 %    -0.0018
 USD/JPY                                 88.13       0.3 %     0.2600
 10-YR US TSY YLD                        1.875          --       0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                          1.476          --      -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                           $1,657.87      0.03 %      $0.58
 US CRUDE                               $93.50      0.43 %       0.40
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Strong China trade data underpins risk assets 
  > US STOCKS-Wall Street rises after Alcoa reports earnings 
  > Japan's Nikkei climbs on weaker yen, strong China data 
  > Prices near flat as gov't debt ceiling debate looms 
  > Yen near 2-1/2-year low, Aussie up on strong China data 
  > Gold hovers below $1,660/oz; eyes on ECB 
  > Copper climbs after brightening China trade data 
  > Brent inches up towards $112 as China data beats expectations