PARIS, Nov 14 European stocks are set to fall on Wednesday, surrendering the previous day's late rally and tracking losses on Wall Street as the market remains range-bound, with investors reluctant to make bets ahead of the U.S. 'fiscal cliff'. At 0730 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.3 percent. Investors are concerned about the handling of U.S. fiscal policy in the near term, the so-called 'fiscal cliff' of spending cuts and tax increases due to automatically kick in in early 2013 if a deal between Democrats and Republicans in Congress is not reached before the end of the year. Both Democrats and Republicans stood their ground on Tuesday, and investors fear a deadlock in negotiations would trigger about $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes, which could derail the U.S. economic recovery. "A recession would not serve anyone, so the fiscal cliff won't happen. But the negotiations will be tough and could trigger a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating," Efigest Asset Management portfolio manager Regis Yancovici said. "But as John Templeton said, 'bull markets are born on pessimism'. It's time to buy European stocks, not to sell them, with a horizon of at least two years. It's time to buy the dips." Southern European countries will be in focus on Wednesday, as Spanish and Portuguese workers will stage the first coordinated general strike across the Iberian Peninsula, while unions in Greece and Italy also plan work stoppages and demonstrations on a "European Day of Action and Solidarity" against austerity policies. Euro zone banks will be in the spotlight after Italy's two biggest lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, posted forecast-beating results and said they have boosted their capital bases even as they both set aside billions of euros against risky loans. The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.8 percent on Tuesday, bouncing from a strong support zone around 2,450 points. The index has been stuck between 2,440 and 2,600 since mid-September. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0727 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,374.53 -0.4 % -5.5 NIKKEI 8,664.73 0.04 % 3.68 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 514.52 0.46 % 2.35 EUR/USD 1.271 0.06 % 0.0008 USD/JPY 79.83 0.58 % 0.4600 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.615 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.348 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,726.66 0.1 % $1.77 US CRUDE $85.40 0.02 % 0.02 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks steady but US fiscal, Greek fears linger > US STOCKS-Microsoft leads Wall St lower, but retailers gain > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 0.04 pct > Bonds firm on fiscal cliff, Greece anxiety > Euro hovers near 2-mth low; Greece, economy woes in spotlight > Gold inches up on steadier euro; platinum hits 3-wk high > Copper steadies on China prospects; U.S. fiscal worries weigh > Brent slips below $108 as IEA cuts demand outlook, supply rises COMPANY NEWS: INTESA, UNICREDIT Italy's two biggest banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, delivered higher-than-expected profits and strengthened their capital bases even as they both set aside billions of euros against risky loans. BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA Italy's third biggest lender posted an unexpected net loss in the third quarter of the year as writedowns on bad loans more than offset trading gains. VIVENDI The entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate raised its annual profit target by 8 percent to 2.7 billion euros ($3.43 billion) on strong video game sales, though weakness persisted at its key French telecom unit. ENEL Italy's biggest utility Enel confirmed its full-year guidance on Tuesday after its core earnings in the first nine months fell 3.9 percent due to a weak domestic power business and the absence of one-off items. BHP BILLITON The miner expects to expand its iron ore capacity by nearly a fifth just by working its mines, rail lines and port harder as it looks to control costs in a softer iron ore market, the global miner's iron ore chief said on Wednesday. EDF The French state-controlled utility said it expects core earnings growth to drop next year because of "deteriorating business conditions", before recovering in 2014. MEDIASET Italy's biggest broadcaster boosted its cost-cutting plan and posted its first-ever quarterly loss on Tuesday as a recession and pay-TV competition intensified. TELECOM ITALIA, VIVENDI The phone operator is looking at Vivendi's Brazilian telecoms company GVT, along with other opportunities, it said on Tuesday, one day after a foreign investor proposed injecting fresh cash into Italy's largest telecoms operator. AMADEUS, AIR FRANCE-KLM, LUFTHANSA German airline Lufthansa and Air France-KLM will sell 5.28 percent of travel technology company Amadeus, sole bookrunner HSBC said after market close on Tuesday. ICAP The firm said its revenue fell 14 percent for the first half of the year, hit by a drop in trading activity as investment banks cut back in the financial crisis. AXA Most of the fees U.S. money manager AllianceBernstein L.P. lost from a sharp reduction in large-cap stock assets since the financial crisis have been replaced, top executives at the company said. TOD'S, FERRAGAMO Leather shoemaker Tod's reported on Tuesday a 14 percent sales decline in its core Italian market in the nine months to the end of September, missing analysts' forecasts. Salvatore Ferragamo fared better than Tod's in Europe, where third-quarter sales grew 15.7 percent. Nine-month net profits rose 8.1 percent to 84.7 million euros. ACCIONA Construction and renewables group Acciona posted a 64 percent fall in nine-month net profit on Tuesday. EADS Airbus has begun studying the feasibility of increasing production later this decade to keep up with anticipated demand, even as it keeps a check on short-term output plans due to worries over its suppliers, a senior company executive said. TECNICAS REUNIDAS Oil engineering firm Tecnicas Reunidas reported a 1.8 percent increase in nine-month net profit on Tuesday after market close. ENBW The utility is planning to halt its 1.5 billion euro investment in a North Sea wind farm due to lack of sufficient grid connections, Stuttgarter Zeitung reported without citing sources. AIR BERLIN Germany's No.2 airline, which is due to publish its financial results on Thursday, is planning to cut about 10 percent of its 9,300 jobs, German TV station n-tv reported.
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