PARIS, Nov 22 European stocks are set to rise on Thursday,
gaining ground for the fourth straight session and buoyed by data showing
China's manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 13 months.
Trading volumes were expected to be thin, however, as Wall Street will be
closed for the Thanksgiving Day.
At 0739 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX
and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.4 percent.
The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) climbed
to 50.4 in November, the latest signal that the world's second-biggest economy
has started to recover.
Renewed expectations of a Greek loan deal following comments from German
Chancellor Angela Merkel also boosted investor sentiment, with the euro hitting
6-1/2 month high against the yen on Thursday. Merkel said on Wednesday a deal to
release emergency aid for Greece was still possible next Monday at a meeting of
European finance ministers.
Investors' attention will be on Spain's debt auction of up to 3.5 billion
euros of bonds, with results expected at around 0940 GMT. Investors will focus
on the overall demand for the bonds, as well as the yields, seeking insight on
the tensions surrounding the country's debt.
Investors will also keep a close eye on manufacturing data for France,
Germany and the euro zone, to be released early on Thursday.
European stocks have been rallying this week, with the euro zone's blue chip
Euro STOXX 50 index surging 3.8 percent, on mounting expectations
that a deal would be reached in Washington to avoid a 'fiscal cliff' of spending
cuts and tax rises that automatically kick in the new year is there is no
political agreement on the budget. Analysts and economists fear the policy
stand-off could drag the U.S. economy back into recession.
On Wednesday, the Euro STOXX 50 managed to close above its 50-day moving
average for the first time in two weeks, sending a positive technical signal.
The index's next resistance level is at 2,550 points, representing a downward
trendline formed by peaks in September and October.
"The trend is clearly bullish," Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said.
"The recent bear trap, the rebound in the S&P 500 and short covering are
also fuelling this rally. Indexes are set to test 2012 highs, which represents
about 3-4 percent in upside potential."
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0738 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 516.47 0.68 % 3.48
EUR/USD 1.2851 0.18 % 0.0023
USD/JPY 82.55 0.06 % 0.0500
10-YR US TSY YLD 1.680 -- 0.00
10-YR BUND YLD 1.439 -- 0.01
SPOT GOLD $1,730.05 0.09 % $1.52
US CRUDE $87.62 0.27 % 0.24
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise on firm China, US factory data
> S&P 500 gains for fourth session on light volume
> Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 1.56 pct
> FOREX-Euro supported by Greece aid hopes, hits 6-mth peak vs yen
> Gold ticks up ahead of possible Greek bailout deal
> Copper rebounds as China economy recovers
> Brent near $111 on uptick in China economy; U.S. stock draw
BAYER RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP
Reckitt Benckiser has signed an agreement to acquire Schiff Nutrition
for $1.4 billion, beating out Bayer and winning its entry into a $30
billion vitamins and nutrition supplements market.
The sector has not seen foreign clients switching their funds as the banks
come under pressure from other countries to help hunt down tax evaders,
Claude-Alain Margelisch, chief executive of the Swiss Bankers Association, said
Renault plans to create 1,300 jobs in recession-hit Spain under a scheme to
boost production at its local plants and after a deal with unions.
The sale of ThyssenKrupp's steel mills in Brazil and the United States will
still take months, longer than expected, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing
supervisory board sources.
The engineering conglomerate said its delivery of high-speed trains to
German rail operator Deutsche Bahn would be delayed beyond early
December due to technical issues discovered during test runs.
The executive committee of the telecom group meets on Thursday to consider a
potential investment by Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris and the spin-off of its
fixed line network.
Banco Santander is considering a near-term initial public offering of its
American car-financing business, according to a recent report.
French construction group Vinci said that a consortium led by its Vinci
Concessions unit was named preferred bidder for the Ohio River Bridges Project's
East End Crossing in Indiana, a contract worth around $1 billion.
The airline's finance chief Simone Menne denied in an interview with
Boersen-Zeitung that the company is accelerating a sale of LSG Sky Chefs. She
also said IT unit Lufthansa Systems was not up for sale.
Actelion has submitted heart and lung drug macitentan to European
health regulators, the second major step for the drug the Swiss group is
positioning as a viable successor to its current top seller.