March 8, 2018 / 6:53 AM / 2 months ago

LIVE MARKETS-Results roll in from Akzo Nobel, Merck, Uniper

    * European shares seen rising
    * Asian trading calmer on hopes of smaller Trump tariff
    * ECB meeting awaited
    * Results from Uniper, Akzo Nobel, Merck, JCDecaux

Welcome to the home for real time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters
stocks reporters and anchored today by Helen Reid. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts
on market moves: helen.reid.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net
 
 
 
    RESULTS ROLL IN FROM AKZO NOBEL, MERCK, UNIPER (0650 GMT) 
    Some more earnings to keep an eye on today.
    Paints maker Akzo Nobel plans to increase prices and cut costs as it expects
rising raw material costs to continue to weigh in 2018.
    Merck points to intense competition from China for its liquid crystals used in
flat screens as a dampener for its earnings, which slipped 6.5 percent as a stronger euro also
weighed.
    And German utility Uniper, in which Fortum has agreed to buy a 46.65
percent stake, reported an 18 percent decline in full-year profit due to weaker performance from
its gas optimisation business.
    And in the latest overnight development after Reuters' report yesterday that Nissan
was in talks to buy the French government's stake in Renault, the Japanese car company
said the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance had no plans to change cross-shareholding ratios of
its member companies.
    (Helen Reid)
    *****
    
    "NOT MUCH NEW INFORMATION" EXPECTED FROM ECB (0632 GMT)
    Societe Generale strategists don't see today's ECB meeting as likely to deliver any huge
revelations, partly due to the central bank stepping on eggshells in a more jittery market.
    "The recent communication wobbles have largely been resolved, with the focus firmly on
keeping expectations of a first rate hike at bay," SocGen writes in a note. "Given heightened
market sensitivity, it is likely too early for the ECB to contemplate any changes in the APP
guidance."
    They reckon the new forecasts from the central bank could point to slightly higher growth
and inflation this year, but core inflation should remain unchanged. 
    "As before, we believe the ECB is moving dangerously slowly with its normalisation process,
not only running the risk of missing the window offered by the strong economic conditions but
also of undermining the role of monetary policy in future macroeconomic stabilisation efforts,"
strategists warn. 
    (Helen Reid)
    *****
    
    
    MORNING CALL: TRADE FEARS FADE, EUROPEAN INVESTORS AWAIT ECB (0613 GMT)
    European shares are set for a calmer trading day today as fears about a global trade war
fade, with the U.S. administration giving signs the tariffs could include carve-outs for key
partners.
    In Europe all eyes will be on the ECB today as investors hope to glean further hints from
Mario Draghi about what will happen after September this year when the current bond-buying
programme is expected to come to an end.
    The FTSE is called to open flat at 7,158 points, the DAX is seen opening 23 points higher at
12,268 points, and the CAC 40 is expected to gain 16 points to 5,204 points. 
    (Helen Reid)
    *****

    
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