DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Stocks Set For Marginal Gains
(This repeats an item published at 0500 GMT)
US SUMMARY: Stocks Eke Out A Gain As Oil Falls
DJIA 11469.28 gain 5.13 up 0.04%
NASDAQ 2205.70 gain 12.54 up 0.6%
S&P 500 1313.25 gain 2.24 up 0.2%
Dow Future 11466.00 loss 12.00 dn 0.1%
NASDAQ Future 1602.00 loss 2.75 dn 0.2%
S&P Future 1313.00 loss 1.50 dn 0.1%
Euro-USD 1.2814 loss 0.0008 dn 0.02%
10-Yr US Treasury: 4.78% up 0.06
(Futures values, Treasury, EUR/USD Data as of 0450 GMT)
Wall Street squeezed out a small gain Tuesday as traders got back to work from a three-day break to find oil prices retreating but little other data to guide them. The dollar was mixed and Treasurys slumped.
STOCKS: With little economic news this week, investors are likely to make few moves until they have more signals about the economy's health. Recent reports, including housing and job claims, have indicated the economy is moderating enough to ward off future Fed rate hikes.
"We're probably going to be within a tight trading range until we start to get some indication from companies about how the quarter is looking," said Peter Schofield, a portfolio manager with Knott Capital. "There's nothing clearly on the horizon, besides the (next) Fed meeting, that could cause a big swing on the market."
In the meantime, corporate news and oil prices are expected to be the main market drivers. Among the biggest gainers Tuesday were oil companies after the discovery of a major new oil source in the Gulf of Mexico by Chevron.
Shares of Intel fell 0.7% in late trading Tuesday after it announced it would cut 10,500 jobs, or about 10% of its work force, by mid-2007 to generate savings in costs and operating expenses of approximately $2 billion in 2007.
Ford Motor shares shot 5% higher and the cost of insuring its bonds against default fell sharply, after the company on Tuesday named senior Boeing executive Alan Mulally as its new chief executive, replacing Bill Ford, who remains chairman.
Copper producer Phelps Dodge and Inco canceled their takeover agreement on Tuesday, leaving Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce as the only suitor for the Canadian nickel miner.
FOREX: The dollar is higher after splitting its performance Tuesday, up against its European rivals but sharply down versus the yen as the Japanese currency continued to rally on monetary tightening hopes.
"We are particularly interested in how the market might respond to a possible upside surprise on U.S. unit labor cost data (Wednesday)," said Steve Barrow, chief currency strategist at Bear Stearns in London, "as we are aware that rate-hike expectations in the U.S. have disappeared to almost nothing, which might be premature."
BONDS: Treasurys saw heavy losses Tuesday as investors collected some profit in an overbought market.
Investors Wednesday will have a look at the Institute for Supply Management's August report on services and the Fed's Beige Book report on current economic conditions. Inflation watchers will watch for the revised second-quarter non-farm labor productivity figure, which includes unit labor costs.
ASIAN SUMMARY: Shares Lower; Oil, Metals Extend Gains
USD-Yen 116.42 gain 0.40 up 0.3%
AUD-USD 0.7683 loss 0.0030 dn 0.4%
Nikkei 225 16299.28 loss 86.68 dn 0.5%
Hang Seng 17293.75 loss 145.00 dn 0.8%
S&P/ASX 200 5098.30 loss 13.40 dn 0.3%
Taiwan Index 6680.18 loss 54.55 dn 0.8%
S.Korea Kospi 1355.61 loss 5.73 dn 0.4%
JGB Yield 1.7150% down 0.0050
(All values as of 0450 GMT)
STOCKS: Asian benchmarks were lower Wednesday on scattered profit-taking after markets hit some technical resistance. Tokyo's benchmark got some support from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries following reports the company has been chosen to develop the country's first domestically produced passenger jet in a government-subsidized program.
FOREX: The dollar rebounded against the yen on some short-covering by short-term traders. Exporters, however, are set to sell dollars at around Y116.50.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the yuan's foreign exchange "floating band will be gradually expanded," a rare comment from a senior government official that could fuel speculation over a widening in the dollar/yuan daily trading band. "So there will be no more 'surprise' adjustment in renminbi exchange rate."
BONDS: Prices of Japanese government debt traded mixed in choppy conditions, ahead of the rollover to the December futures contract on Friday. Strategists said longer-dated paper looked cheap compared to shorter issues.
OIL: Prices bounced back from two-month lows, a day ahead of the release of a weekly U.S. petroleum supply snapshot expected to show crude and gasoline stocks fell. Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 11 cents to $68.71 a barrel.
METALS: Spot gold was up around 60 cents at $639.50 as technical factors continued to propel its recovery. Next resistance is put at around $645.
Copper and zinc rose on good demand and favorable technical factors.
OTHER NEWS: Economies in developing Asia are expected to expand 7.7 percent this year, higher than the 7.2 percent initially projected, thanks to booming growth in China and India, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.
EUROPEAN OUTLOOK: Stocks Seen A Touch Higher
Euro-USD 1.2814 loss 0.0008 dn 0.07%
Stlg-USD 1.8948 gain 0.0002 up 0.01%
USD-Franc 1.2338 gain 0.0003 up 0.02%
(All values as of 0450 GMT)
European stocks are likely to nudge a notch higher Wednesday, while prices of government debt tend lower with the euro in a range against the dollar.
STOCKS: European markets are set for a mildly positive open as M&A news takes the spotlight Wednesday. But equities markets are fragile and quick profit-taking is likely.
U.K. spreadbettor CMC Markets is calling the FTSE up 2 points to 5984, the DAX up 8 to 5892, and the CAC up 5 to 5178.
In M&A, Vivendi is close to an agreement to buy Bertelsmann's BMG Music Publishing business for about EUR1.6 billion in a deal that could vault it to the world's biggest music publisher, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Six private equity firms have been shortlisted to hold talks with Endemol Entertainment Holding executives about an EUR1.8 billion management buyout, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Renault is in the process of selecting two investment banks to advise the French auto maker on a possible three-way tie-up among Renault, Nissan Motor of Japan and U.S. rival General Motors, people close to the matter said.
European stock markets slipped Tuesday after U.S. trading resumed on a lackluster note following a long holiday weekend. However, the oil-services sector drew attention after France's Compagnie Generale de Geophysique agreed to buy a U.S. firm, and Wood Group said it will beat profit forecasts for the year.
FOREX: The euro opens little changed and remains locked in a narrow range of around $1.2780 to $1.2840. Dealers say participants are playing the range until a clear directional indicator emerges.
BONDS: European government bonds are set to open slightly lower, amid mixed technical influences and lower Treasurys.
Bank of America economist Holger Schmieding said that while the region's economy looks set to return to a less exuberant pace of growth, it should avoid falling back below trend on a sustainable basis.
"For the ECB, this is enough reason to reduce its monetary stimulus further, most likely with a 25 basis point rate hike in October and probably a follow-up hike to 3.5% in December," he said.
As for the services data, the report points to slower growth in the third quarter but "no all clear on inflation," said Sylvain Broyer, a euro-zone economist with IXIS Corporate and Investment Bank in Paris. "This reinforces the probability of a further monetary tightening after October 5."
On a similar theme, weaker-than-expected U.K. data did little to change the interest rate outlook, with many economists looking for another Bank of England hike in November.
Elsewhere, the focus is on Thursday's expiry of September bond futures contracts on Eurex, with spread trading picking up steam as investors roll over positions into the December contracts.
European government bonds fell in price Tuesday as buyers continued to close out positions and softer Treasurys weighed on the market.
CALENDAR: Wednesday, Sep 6: German Orders; US Services
GMT Expected Previous
0700 GER Budget debate with Chancellor Merkel, Berlin
0830 UK Jul Mfg Output +0.2%MM +0.1%MM
1000 GER Jul Mfg Orders +1.0%MM -0.5%MM
1100 US Sep 1 MBA Refinancing Index Unch
1145 US Sep 2 ICSC Store Sales Index +0.6%
1230 US 2Q Non-Farm Labor Productivity, revised +1.6% +1.1%
1230 US 2Q Unit Labor Costs, revised +4.1% +4.2%
1255 US Sep 2 Redbook Retail Sales Index +0.3%
1400 US Aug ISM Non-Mfg Index 55.0 54.8
1800 US Fed's Beige Book
Accor (12040.FR): 1H Earnings
Average pretax operating profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR269M (EUR230M)
Note: The previous years figures are adjusted after its sale of Carlson Wagonlit Travel to EUR206M. Analysts expect the company to provide guidance on its strategy and continue to sell non-core assets, possibly Go Voyages, a catering unit in Italy and its on-board train services company. Analysts will look closely to see what the company would do with the cash and see the stock rising if it returns cash to shareholders.
Atos Origin (5173.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR68.1M (EUR121.3M)
Average EBIT: EUR137.9M (EUR196.3M)
Note: Decline due in part because of delays in contract signings, operational issues in the UK, subscale offshore operations and high dependency on the public sector for UK business, Goldman Sachs says. EBIT expected to fall 30%. Analysts look to details on cash generation and country by country detail on earnings.
Bouygues (12050.FR): 2Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 4 analysts): EUR272.5M (EUR288M)
Average EBIT: EUR569.3M (EUR595M)
Note: EBIT was due to a profit decline in TV channel unit TF1 and telecom unit Bouygues Telecom, analysts say. Analysts are looking for a comment on Bouygues stake in Alstom.
Carillion (CLLN.LN): 1H Earnings
Average pretax pre-items profit (DJ, 3 analysts): GBP25.5M (GBP20.1M)
Note: Analysts are looking for details on the Mowlem integration, revaluation of PPP equity stakes, and an update on the debt level which the company says will be below GBP100M by FY '07.
Credit Agricole (4507.FR): 2Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR1.24B (EUR960M)
Note: Gains derive mainly from French retail and Agricole's corporate investment bank. Analysts say investment bank earnings are supported by buoyant capital markets, though May-June downturn will cap gains.
Derwent Valley Holdings (DWV.LN): 1H Earnings
Note: Derwent Valley is expected to report 1H net asset value of 1,480p, +11% from 1,335p, says one analyst. Will focus on the development and the refurbishment program of the company and will look out for its letting progress. "Derwent always gives a good update and hopefully this one will show a good return on investment," says analyst.
Eiffage (13045.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR116.5 (EUR93M)
Average EBIT: EUR358.5 (EUR117M)
Note: EBIT is thanks to the integration of French toll road Autoroutes Paris Rhin Rhone, bought last year. Analysts will pay attention to financial charges. Data due premarket Wednesday.
Gallaher (GLH.LN): 1H Earnings
Average pretax profit before exceptional items (DJ, 3 analysts):
GBP274M (GBP 263M)
Pre-exceptional EPS: 29.9p (29.2p)
Note: A strong performance in the CIS region is expected to have offset weaker markets in Western Europe. Growth in the core UK market meanwhile is expected to be weighted more toward the 2H. (MIC)
Heineken (00916.AE): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR412M (EUR345M)
Average sales: EUR5.64B (EUR5.14B)
Note: The net profit figure was pushed by strong volume growth which boosted revenue. 1H sales seen +9.7%, boosted by growth in all regions but the mature western European market. Outlook, net profit excluding acquisitions of just over 10%, is expected to be reiterated. Analysts to focus on Heineken's cost saving program.
LVMH (12101.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 4 analysts): EUR756M (EUR559M)
Average operating profit: EUR1.32B (EUR1.09B)
Note: In addition, profits at LVMH in 1H 05 were dented by foreign currency losses and costs associated with refurbishment of the Samaritaine flagship department store. Analysts likely to focus on any LVMH statement on outlook for trading conditions in 2H.
Paddy Power (PAP.DB): 1H Earnings
Average basic EPS (DJ, 4 analysts): 31.5c (31.7c)
Note: EPS was partly due to increased operating expenses. But the World Cup in June will have helped underpin a strong turnover, says Goodbody Stockbrokers. The market will also look for performance of online gaming and 2H guidance.
Swiss Life (SLHN.VX): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 7 analysts): CHF444M (CHF447M)
Average operating profit: CHF610M (CHF541M)
Note: The drop is mainly due to higher tax costs and lower realized investment gains. Operating profit, meanwhile, is seen up 13%, while gross written premiums are expected to rise 6.5% to CHF12.44B from CHF11.68B. Analysts will mainly watch for outlook comments, and monitor business development outside Switzerland, which has seen sharp gains in the past.
Wilson Bowden (WLB.LN): 1H Earnings
Average pretax profit (Co, 30 analysts): GBP86M (GBP98.5M)
Note: Earnings down partly due to a slip in house sales with a number of sites still at a premature stage. There were also one-off items related to land divestments last year. Analysts focused on margins, which are down year- on-year, says Bridgewell analyst Chris Millington
OTHER SCHEDULED EVENTS:
600 Group (SIXH.LN): AGM
A&J Mucklow Group (MKLW.LN): FY Earnings
Altri SGPS (ALTR.LB): 1H Earnings
Associated British Ports Hldgs (ASB.YY): 1H Earnings
Autogrill (AGL.MI): 1H Earnings
Banca Fideuram (BFI.MI): August Assets/Net New Money
Banca Lombarda (BL.MI): 1H Earnings
Bertelsmann (BRT.YY): 1H Earnings
BIC Societe (12096.FR): 1H Earnings
Biotrace International (BOI.LN): 1H Earnings
Carpetright (CPR.LN): AGM
Cementerie del Tirreno (CEM.MI): 1H Earnings
Chargeurs (13069.FR): 1H Earnings
Chesnara (CSN.LN): 1H Earnings
Devro (DVO.LN): 1H Earnings
DSG international (DSGI.LN): AGM/Trading Update
DS Smith (SMDS.LN): AGM
DX Services (DXS.LN): FY Earnings
FBD Holdings (FBH.LN): 1H Earnings
F&C US Smaller Companies (FSC.LN): FY Earnings
Financial Objects (FIO.LN): 1H Earnings
Gewiss (GEW.MI): 1H Earnings
HG Capital Trust (HGT.LN): 1H Earnings
Highams Systems Services Group (HSS.LN): AGM
Highway Insurance Holdings (HWY.LN): 1H Earnings
Holidaybreak (HBR.LN): Trading Update
Imerys (12085.FR): 1H Earnings
Imagesound (ISD.LN): 1H Earnings
IX Europe (IXE.LN): 1H Earnings
Immobiliare Lombarda (IML.MI): 1H Earnings
Lambert Howarth Group (LMBT.LN): 1H Earnings
Martin Currie Inc & Gwth (MGTC.LN): 1Q Earnings
Montefibre (MF.MI): 1H Earnings
Punch Taverns (PUB.LN): Trading Update
Shore Capital Group (SGR.LN): 1H Earnings
Surface Technology (SRTS.LN): 1H Earnings
Sword Group (18378.FR): 1H Earnings
Terna (TRN.MI): 1H Earnings
Total (TOT): Trading Update
Town Centre Securities (TCSC.LN): FY Earnings
Tullow Oil (TQW.DB): 1H Earnings
UK Coal (UKC.LN): 1H Earnings
Visonic (VSC.TV): 1H Earnings
W S Atkins (ATK.LN): Trading Update
4imprint (FOUR.LN): 1H 2006 Dividend Payment Date
Alliance & Leicester (AL.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Amvescap (AVZ.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Beale (BAE.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
BHP Billiton (BLT.LN): FY 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Black Arrow (BLKA.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
British Assets Trust (BSET.LN): 3Q 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Carpetright (CPR.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Churchill China (CHH.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Clarkson (CKN.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Corus Group (CS.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
CRH (CRH): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Croda International (CRDA.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
CryptoLogic Inc (CRYP): 2Q 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Fayrewood (FWY.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
FKI (FKI.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Gartmore Fledgling Trust (GMF.LN): FY 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Gibbs & Dandy (GDYO.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Greggs (GRG.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Hemtex (HEMX.SK): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
IG Group Holdings (IGG.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
JPMorgan Fleming Inc & Growth (JGIX.LN): 2Q 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Ladbrokes (LAD.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Laing (J) (LNGO.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Legal & General Group (LGEN.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
LPA Group (LPA.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Micro Focus International (MCRO.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
MITIE Group (MTO.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Playtech (PLS.DB): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Portmeirion Group (PMP.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Radstone Technology (RST.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Rotork (ROR.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Scottish American Investment (SCAM.LN): 2Q 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Securities Trust of Scotland (STS.LN): 1Q 2007 Ex-Dividend Date
Serco Group (SRP.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Slough Estates (SLOU.LN): 1H 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
Small Co's Div Trust (SDV.LN): 1Q 2006 Ex-Dividend Date
VP (VP.LN): FY 2005 Ex-Dividend Date
Wagon (WAGN.LN): 1H 2006 Dividend Payment Date
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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