European Factors to Watch - Euro zone shares to rebound from 2-mth low
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - European stocks were expected to rebound on Friday as some key regional indexes found technical support after sharps falls in the previous session and some upbeat corporate results underpinned sentiment. At 0735 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, Britain's FTSE and France's CAC were 0.5-0.6 percent higher. Germany's DAX came off its intra-day trough on Thursday to close above lows hit earlier this month and France's CAC was finding technical support at the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the up move between November and late January. The Euro STOXX 50, on track for its fourth straight weekly loss, its worst streak since April 2012, fell 2.3 percent to a two-month low of 2,579.76 points on Thursday. It was pummelled as euro zone economic data disappointed and investors worried the U.S. Federal Reserve may curb the stream of money that has helped support equities in the past six months. But Wall Street indexes staged a late recovery on Thursday and shares in Asia, copper and oil prices rebounded overnight, in a sign investors were still prepared to buy the dips in assets exposed to the global economic cycle. Matthias Thiel, a market strategist at M.M Warburg & CO, said economic data was still consistent with an economic recovery in the first half of this year and he highlighted the majority of the Fed's Open Market Committee was still in favour of the asset purchases. "For this reason, we still consider this a buying opportunity for investors with a fundamental investment approach and a medium investment horizon," Thiel said. Germany's Ifo survey, a barometer of the economic health of Europe's growth engine, was likely to be a key driver of share price performance on Friday when it is published at 0900 GMT. Economists were forecasting the Ifo business climate index to rise to 105 from 104.2 in the previous month and market expectations were high after a separate German sentiment survey beat consensus earlier this week. Earnings reports may provide some support to industrial stocks as Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moeller-Maersk and airline Air France-KLM reported better than expected results. Some investors were reluctant to make large directional bets ahead of tight Italian general elections next week, which will shed light on the pace of economic reform in the debt-laden country. M.M Warburg & Co's Thiel said failure to form a stable, reform-oriented government in Italy would dent investor confidence in the euro zone's economy and lead the firm to review its positive stance on equities. "Italy would be a specific example of what we mean by political risk," Thiel said. "If there are signs that political risk materialises or the fundamentals get worse again, we would reduce our position." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0731 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,502.42 -0.63 % -9.53 NIKKEI 11,385.94 0.68 % 76.81 MSCI ASIA EX-JP <.MIASJ0000P 553.80 -0.07 % -0.41 US> EUR/USD 1.3216 0.21 % 0.0028 USD/JPY 93.30 0.21 % 0.2000 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.978 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.577 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,584.96 0.59 % $9.30 US CRUDE $93.14 0.32 % 0.30 > Asian shares recover from steep loss, growth worry caps > Wall St ends lower on growth worries > Nikkei falls on U.S., Europe economic worries > U.S. bond prices rise on data, Fed bond purchase view > Dollar stays firm on Fed's QE doubts, euro near 6-wk low > Gold rises, sluggish data suggests Fed stimulus may stay > Copper off 2-month low, heads for worst wk since mid-2012 > Brent rebounds but eyes largest weekly loss since Dec COMPANY NEWS A.P. MOLLER-MAERSK The Danish shipping and oil group is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results at 0700 GMT. The market expects a nearly three-fold rise in quarterly net profit to $806 million thanks to a recovery in its container shipping unit, according to a Reuters poll. For more on the company, click on TELE2 The top executive of the Swedish telecom operator, Mats Granryd, said in a interview with business daily Dagens Industri he was optimistic about 2013 as the European economy improved. ERICSSON The Swedish telecom equipment and services group said Japan's Softbank Mobile had selected its SSR 8000 family of routers as its main Evolved Packet Core packet gateway node. EUTSCHE BANK Indicated 0.5 percent higher The bank is planning to sell Chinese yuan bonds of up to 2 billion yuan ($320.5 million) in Taiwan as soon as the first quarter, three sources with close knowledge of the issue said on Friday. BASF Indicated 0.4 percent higher Wintershall, BASF's oil and gas unit, and the local unit of France's Total plan to invest $2.1 billion over the next five years in Argentina to increase natural gas production, the Argentine government said on Thursday. AIR BERLIN Indicated 1.5 percent higher The German carrier said on Thursday it swung to a 2012 net profit of 6.8 million euros ($9 million) from a 420.4 million euro loss in the previous year. FINMECCANICA The Italian defence group has delayed publication of its 2012 results after a bribery probe connected with the sale of 12 helicopters to Indian authorities, it said on Thursday. Finmeccanica, as expected, said it examined the sale of its AnsaldoEnergia unit and did not make a decision. It named Daniele Romiti as the chief of its helicopter unit, replacing Bruno Spagnolini, who was arrested earlier in February with Finmeccanica's former CEO as part of the probe. MONTE DEI PASCHI Italy's top audit court has ruled that the state's plan to loan 3.9 billion euros to troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is legitimate, the court said in a statement. A Rome administrative court ruled on Thursday the state's plan to lend 3.9 billion euros ($5.16 billion) to troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena can go ahead, a source close to the matter told Reuters.
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