Europe Factors-Shares seen up for 5th day; focus on commods

(Adds company news, detail; updates snapshot table)

LONDON, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares are set to gain for a fifth
straight day on Friday after 26-month highs in the previous session, with
encouraging U.S. data and extended tax cuts in the world’s largest economy seen
improving sentiment.

Futures for Euro STOXX 50 (STXEc1: ), for Germany’s DAX (FDXc1: ) and for
France’s CAC (FCEc1: ) were up 0.4 to 0.5 percent. Financial spreadbetters earlier
predicted Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) to open as much as 0.2 percent higher.

“Despite the selling we’ve seen across most of Asia, as the prospect of
Chinese policy tightening comes to the fore once again, this doesn’t look set to
weigh on Europe at the open, with the major indices again taking their leads
from the U.S.,” Ben Potter, research analyst at IG Markets, said in a note.

“That prospect of a rate hike by Beijing along with a strengthening dollar
is likely to thrust commodities very much into the spotlight.”

China’s imports and exports were much stronger than expected in November,
robust numbers that could clear the way for the central bank to raise interest
rates as soon as this weekend. [ID:nTOE6B901S]

Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) fell 0.7 percent on Friday, while the
benchmark S&P 500 index (.SPX: ) closed at a two-year high on Thursday after data
showed first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits fell more than expected last
week. [ID:nLDE6B81IS]

On Thursday, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares rose
0.4 percent to 1,123.75 points, the highest close since late September 2008.

Investors will keep an eye on U.S. international trade data for October, due
at 1330 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a $43.6 billion deficit,
compared with a $44.0 billion deficit in September.

Analysts said the euro zone debt crisis stayed in the background and may
come in the limelight again. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Freiburg on Friday to prepare joint
Franco-German positions for next week’s EU summit such as the rejection of
proposals for euro zone bonds. [ID:nLDE6B823X]

———————-MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0733 GMT———————-

LAST PCT CHG NET CHG

S&P 500 (.SPX: ) 1,233.00 0.38 % 4.72

NIKKEI (.N225: ) 10,211.95 -0.72 % -73.93

MSCI ASIA EX-JP (.MIASJ0000PUS: ) 553.05 -0.42 % -2.36

EUR/USD (EUR=: ) 1.3278 0.32 % 0.0042

USD/JPY (JPY=: ) 83.63 -0.11 % -0.0900

10-YR US TSY YLD (US10YT=RR: ) 3.195 — -0.02

10-YR BUND YLD (EU10YT=RR: ) 2.941 — -0.01

SPOT GOLD (XAU=: ) $1,391.31 0.28 % $3.92

US CRUDE (CLc1: ) $88.85 0.54 % 0.48

* Nikkei edges lower, strong SQ prompts profit-taking [ID:nTOE6B901R]

* Banks lead Wall St higher; Nasdaq up for 7th day [ID:nN09270810]

* Euro limps off lows but seen vulnerable [ID:nTOE6B9007]

* TREASURIES-Gain in Asia as market settles after selloff [ID:nL3E6NA079]

* Copper rallies above $9,000/t after strong China imports [ID:nL3E6NA049]

* Gold steady on dollar, Ireland woe; choppy range seeen [ID:nL3E6NA035]

* Japan stocks slip but set to outperform Asia in week [ID:nL3E6NA02N]

COMPANY NEWS

RIO TINTO (RIO.L: )

Global mining giant Rio Tinto has notified Chinese steel mills that it will
raise contract iron ore prices by 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, two
sources told Reuters on Friday. [ID:nTOE6B9054]

HOCHTIEF (HOTG.DE: )

Disgruntled Hochtief shareholder Southeastern Asset Management has ruled out
a pact with Spanish predator ACS (ACS.MC: ) to oust the German builder’s board
after calling for their resignations on Thursday. [ID:nLDE6B821X]

Separately, ACS CEO Angel Garcia Altozano told Financial Times Deutschland
that the Spanish firm welcomed Qatar Holding as “a good partner” but that
Hochtief’s capital increase is an unnecessary step, given the financial strength
of the company. [ID:nLDE6B80TI] Related news [HOTG.DE-E]

AREVA (CEPFi.PA: )

The board of France’s Areva will meet to weigh its recapitalisation, which
could see Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund invest in the state-owned maker of
nuclear reactors, according to les Echos. [ID:nLDE6B903Q]

NOVARTIS (NOVN.VX: )

The Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday current applications in the United
States and the European Union to use its Zometa drug for adjuvant treatment in
early breast cancer will be withdrawn after it failed to meet its primary
endpoint in a study. [NOVN.VX]

GJENSIDIGE (GJFS.OL: )

Mutually owned Norwegian insurer Gjensidige raised 10.7 billion Norwegian
crowns ($1.77 billion) in its initial public offering, the country’s largest IPO
in nearly a decade. [ID:nLDE6B9062]

TRANSOCEAN (RIGN.VX: )

A Swiss court upheld a regulator’s decision to block Transocean planned $1
billion payout to shareholders, leaving the company either to appeal or try to
pay dividends in a different way. [RIGN.VX]

DIAGEO (DGE.L: )

Liquor company Diageo is in early-stage “exploratory” talks to buy Turkish
spirits company Mey Icki in a deal valued at up to $2.5 billion, The Wall Street
Journal reported on Thursday. [ID:nN09266550]

AIR FRANCE-KLM (AIRF.PA: )

Boeing Co (BA.N: ) said it was still studying its delivery schedule for the
787 Dreamliner after a report suggested deliveries of the carbon-composite plane
could be put off until late June or July. French newspaper Les Echos reported on
its website that Boeing could begin deliveries next summer, based on talks
between Boeing and Air France-KLM. [ID:nN09248988]

EADS (EAD.DE: )

Peer Boeing (BA.N: ) said it could not see a “compelling reason” to follow
EADS’s Airbus in upgrading its best-selling single-aisle passenger plane, its
commercial aircraft chief told the Financial Times. [ID:nLDE6B900Q]

Separately, EADS Chairman Bodo Uebber, who is also Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE: )
CFO, signaled in an interview with German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he may
not succeed Chief Executive Louis Gallois, whose term expires in 2012. Related
news [EAD.PA-E]

SAFRAN (SAF.PA: )

The French state-controlled aerospace group said it had signed a 1.6 billion
euro credit facility agreement with 13 banks. The facility matures in December
2015 and is meant for general corporate purposes, Safran said.

SANOFI-AVENTIS (SASY.PA: )

At least three healthcare companies have made initial bids and remain in the
race for animal health operations put on sale by the French drugmaker and its
U.S. partner Merck & Co (MRK.N: ), people familiar with the process said.
[ID:nLDE6B81UC]

FIAT (FIA.MI: )

The Italian carmaker is in talks with the government of Brazil’s state of
Pernambuco to open a second car factory in Brazil, a source close to the state
government told Reuters on Thursday. [ID:nN09258794]

BANCO POPOLARE (BAPO.MI: )

A total of 14 banks were selected for roles in the underwriting syndicate
for Banco Popolare’s planned capital increase of up to 2 billion euros which
will be presented to shareholders on 10-11 December for approval, the bank said
on Thursday. [ID:nBIA09065]

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)

Europe Factors-Shares seen up for 5th day; focus on commods