March 13, 2018 / 7:58 AM / 6 months ago

REFILE-LIVE MARKETS-What's on the radar before the European open

 (Refiles to correct headline)
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
 
 
 
    WHAT'S ON THE RADAR BEFORE THE EUROPEAN OPEN (0755 GMT)
    Stock futures indicate European shares will crawl higher today after investors lost their
enthusiasm for U.S. and Asian equities overnight. 
    Eyes will be firmly on U.S. inflation figures (1230 GMT), with the anticipation likely
putting a dampener on early trading volumes. The British finance minister’s Spring Statement,
also at 1230 GMT, won’t deliver any policy shifts but is likely to reveal slightly better
economic growth figures. 
    Germany-listed shares in Steinhoff could also be ones to watch after the
crisis-hit South African retailer said it would place up to 450 million shares in KAP
Industrial, reducing its holding in the firm to 26 percent from 43 percent, in a bid to plug a
liquidity gap. 
    M&A drove shares in German utilities RWE, E.ON and Innogy up yesterday, and shareholders
will likely be pleased with RWE’s latest announcement, that it will hike its dividends in 2018
and 2019. 
    In fresh dealmaking news French bank Natixis is buying stakes in three independent
boutique advisory firms including Vermilion Partners, which focuses on cross-border M&A
involving China. The bank hopes to diversify its banking activities and increase its presence in
China through the acquisitions.
    Encouraging earnings from Geberit could drive the stock up 2 to 3 percent,
according to pre-market calls, while traders say premium drinks maker Fevertree, a
small UK-listed stock, could dip despite strong results, as investors take profits on the
fast-growing stock.
(Helen Reid)
    *****
    
    EUROPEAN HEADLINES ROUND-UP (0720 GMT)
Finland takes stake in Nokia to boost national ownership
Qatar sells its 4.6 pct stake in Veolia 
Telecoms group Iliad dials up higher annual profits 
RWE pledges higher dividends after Innogy break-up deal 
Austria's OMV aims to increase core profit by 70 pct by 2025 
Wacker Chemie sees 2018 earnings growing faster than sales 
Chilean miner Antofagasta sees profits surge, raises dividend  
Legal & General Capital takes full ownership of Cala Homes 
Geberit sees decent construction market in 2018
French bank Natixis buying into 3 M&A boutiques, bolsters China presence 
Crisis-hit Steinhoff cuts stake in South Africa's KAP to 26 pct
Premium drinks maker Fevertree's profit jumps 64 pct
Under pressure, ING scraps plan to raise CEO pay 
EUROPE RESEARCH ROUNDUP-Capital & Counties Properties, Inmarsat, Norsk Hydro 
(Tom Pfeiffer)
    
    FUTURES POINT TO LACKLUSTRE TRADING (0709 GMT)
    European stock futures have opened modestly higher this morning, with only slight gains
pointing to muted trading as investors await U.S. CPI data. FTSE futures are lagging the rest,
down 0.1 percent ahead of the Spring Statement at 1230 GMT.
    Here's SocGen's economists' take ahead of the statement: "The OBR will present updated
economic and (better) fiscal forecasts. Mr Hammond’s speech will be very short, however, because
he will only acknowledge and welcome the improved forecasts but will not make any policy
changes." Policy tweaks will have to wait for the Autumn Budget.
 
 
 (Helen Reid)
    *****
    
    EARLY MORNING COMPANY HEADLINE ROUND-UP (0657 GMT)
    While U.S. inflation is likely to focus the attention of investors today, there's also a lot
of company results with OMV, Iliad, Wacker Chemie and Geberit among the firms reporting.
    And RWE's promised its shareholders higher dividends after its deal to break up Innogy with
E.ON. 
    Here's a quick round-up of the morning company headlines so far:
    RWE pledges higher dividends after Innogy break-up deal
    Telecoms group Iliad dials up higher annual profits
    Austria's OMV aims to increase core profit by 70 pct by 2025
    Wacker Chemie sees 2018 earnings growing faster than sales
    French bank Natixis buying into 3 M&A boutiques, bolsters China presence
    Geberit sees decent construction market in 2018
    Under pressure, ING scraps plan to raise CEO pay
    (Helen Reid)
    *****
    
    MORNING CALL: STOCKS TO STALL AS INVESTORS EYE INFLATION FIGURES (0624 GMT)
    Good morning and welcome to Live Markets. 
    European stocks are called to open slightly lower this morning as investors await inflation
figures from the U.S. and an update on the UK's public finances. 
    Asian shares lost momentum overnight, trading hesitantly after a weaker session on Wall
Street saw the S&P 500 and Dow slip, while the Nasdaq hit a new record high thanks to a boost in
tech stocks.
    The biggest data point on everyone's minds today is U.S. CPI (1230 GMT) which could inform
investors further on the probable pace of Fed rate rises this year.
    Today's Spring Statement from Chancellor Philip Hammond is being called a "non-event" by
some. "The only area of real interest could be the updated OBR economic and public spending
forecasts, which could provide a small injection of volatility into the pound," says Jasper
Lawler of LCG in a morning note. 
    He's expected to announce a small improvement in the UK's slow economic growth outlook.

    Spreadbetters call the DAX 13 points lower at 12406, the CAC 40 down 5 points at 5272, and
the FTSE 100 13 points lower at 7202. 
    (Helen Reid)
    *****

    
 (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Kit Rees, Julien Ponthus, Helen Reid)
  
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