PARIS, Jan 24 European stocks are seen edging lower on Thursday, trimming some of the previous session's gains, as disappointing results from tech giant Apple eclipsed data showing accelerating growth in China's factory sector. At 0728 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.01-0.06 percent. Late on Thursday, Apple missed Wall Street's revenue forecast for the third straight quarter, after iPhone sales came in below expectations. Shares of the company traded in Frankfurt plunged 11 percent early. They sank 10 percent to $463 in after-hours trade on Wall Street on Wednesday night, wiping out some $50 billion of its market value - nearly equivalent to that of Hewlett-Packard and Dell combined. In China, the HSBC flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in January, the highest reading since January 2011 and above the 50-point level that shows accelerating growth in the sector from the previous month. European shares inched higher on Wednesday, moving back towards a near two-year high hit recently, although a bout of profit taking on bank and insurance shares limited the market's rise. The market has been strongly rallying over the past two months, with the Euro STOXX 50 surging 12 percent since mid-November, as fears about a potential break-up of the euro zone abated while global macroeconomic data improved. But the rally has lost steam in the past week, as investors await further confirmation from macro data and from companies that the worst of Europe's economic crisis is over. "The medium-term positive trend is still intact, and we still have a 'buy' recommendation, but in the short term, we're seeing a flat consolidation which could last a little bit more," Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said. The Euro STOXX 50's next key support level is at 2,698 points, representing an upward trendline started in mid-November. On the upside, the index will hit resistance at 2,727 points, a downward trendline started in mid-January. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0728 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,494.81 0.15 % 2.25 NIKKEI 10,620.87 1.28 % 133.88 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 557.31 -0.49 % -2.72 EUR/USD 1.3334 0.14 % 0.0018 USD/JPY 89.43 0.95 % 0.8400 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.835 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.555 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,679.10 -0.36 % -$6.04 US CRUDE $95.54 0.33 % 0.31 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares recover on improved China PMI > S&P up for sixth day, Apple slip could halt rally > Nikkei rises, helped by China data; exporters gain on weaker yen > TREASURIES-Bonds firm in Asia, underpinned by U.S. growth worries > Yen slips as Aussie gains support from upbeat Chinese data > Gold drifts from 1-mth high, recovery hopes dull appetite > Copper underpinned after China factory growth hits two year high > Brent crude holds above $112 on upbeat China data COMPANY NEWS: NOKIA Shares in the Finnish handset maker may be affected as rival Apple Inc late on Wednesday said its quarterly iPhone shipments lagged market forecast. Nokia is due to publish its own full fourth-quarter results at 1100 GMT. The firm has already flagged a return to underlying profitability after massive cost cuts and stronger sales of Lumia smartphones. COMMERZBANK Commerzbank's works council deliberates cutback plans. Media reports say up to 6,500 jobs could go. LOGITECH The No. 1 maker of computer mice swung to a third-quarter loss from a year earlier and said it would divest non-strategic products, as it continues to be hit hard by weakness in the global PC market. TOD'S Italy's luxury shoemaker said on Wednesday sales rose 7.8 percent in 2012 to 963.1 million euros ($1.28 billion), helped by a good performance in Greater China. The results were roughly in line with a Thomson Reuters Starmine forecast for average sales of 966 million euros. UNICREDIT The Italian lender plans to cut about 1,000 jobs at its German unit by the end of next year in a bid to slash costs at its ailing retail bank, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA Italy's N.3 bank said on Wednesday it was reviewing three loss-making structured trades made in 2006-09 after its shares plunged for the second day in a row on fears of a mounting shortfall in its accounts. Seeking to reassure investors, the Tuscan bank said the 500 million euros it requested in extra state aid in November would be enough to absorb a hit on its capital from those trades. SIEMENS Siemens said 98.21 percent of shareholders who attended the annual general meeting, approved the spin-off of Osram Licht AG. Siemens shareholders will receive one additional share of Osram for every ten Siemens shares. A listing is expected in April at the earliest. VEOLIA, SUEZ The French waste and water groups have been shortlisted to bid for a contract worth more than 1 billion euros to treat water at a coal gas project in Australia, Les Echos newspaper reported. UNIPOL, FONDIARIA-SAI Italy's Unipol will shed 2,200 jobs as a result of its plans to merge with peer Fondiaria-SAI to create Italy's No 2 insurer, a trade union official said on Wednesday. FINMECCANICA, EADS Franco-Italian regional aircraft maker ATR, jointly owned by Finmeccanica and Airbus-owner EADS, forecast a 25 percent rise in deliveries this year as it works through a $5.1 billion order backlog representing nearly three years' of production.
Our top photos from the past week.