Europe Factors-Shares set to extend recovery rally

 (Recasts with futures, company news, updates snapshot table)
 PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - European stock index futures pointed to a higher
open on Friday, with stocks poised to extend their recovery rally and track U.S.
and Asian gains, while investors shrug off Portugal's debt crisis.
 By 0725 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 (STXEc1: Quote, Profile, Research), for Germany's DAX (FDXc1: Quote, Profile, Research)
and for France's CAC (FCEc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were up 0.4-0.5 percent.
 Standard & Poor's downgraded Portugal's credit ratings by two notches to BBB
-- the second lowest investment grade rating -- and warned it could cut it again
by one notch as early as next week depending on the final shape of the euro zone
bailout fund. The S&P move followed a two-notch cut by Fitch on Thursday.
[ID:nL3E7EP027]
 "The market already expects Portugal to be bailed out at some point, so it
has been priced in already," said Roland Kaloyan, strategist, global asset
allocation, at Societe Generale CIB.
 Meeting on Thursday in Brussels, European leaders agreed to boost the
financial rescue fund to the full 440 billion euros by June, but avoided
discussion of Portugal, under pressure to seek a bailout following the
resignation of its prime minister. [ID:nLDE72O009]
 The region's broad STOXX Europe 600 index (.STOXX: Quote, Profile, Research) has risen 5.2 percent
since hitting a 3-1/2 month low last week, as fears over Japan's nuclear crisis
abated, although concerns over violence in the Arab world has kept investors on
edge, and the index is still down 5.5 percent since reaching a peak in
mid-February.
 "There are still a number of concerns in the backdrop: the euro zone debt
issues, the energy issue in Japan and the unrest in the Arab world, all this
adding to China's weak PMI. Yet, U.S. and European stocks' retreat has been
limited because of the strong inflows, mainly coming from money markets and
emerging markets, and this trend could last for a while," Kaloyan said.
 "Negative real interest rates are boosting appetite for risky assets. Buying
European stocks is also a good way to get exposure to the euro currency, which
is poised to benefit from the fact that the ECB will raise rates before the
Fed."
 The market's recent correction has dragged European stocks' valuations to
three-month lows. The STOXX Europe 600 index carries a forward price-to-earnings
(P/E) ratio of 10.2, a level not seen since mid-December and well below its
10-year average of 13.6.
 This compares with a forward P/E ratio of 11.5 for the MSCI world share
index (.MIWD00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research).
 According to a Reuters poll of about 30 analysts and fund managers, the
STOXX Europe 600 (.STOXX: Quote, Profile, Research) is seen gaining around 11 percent in 2011.
[ID:nLDE72M24M]
 
 ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT AT  0723 GMT------------------ 
                                      LAST        PCT CHG    NET CHG 
 S&P 500                  (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research)  1,309.66         0.93 %      12.12 
 NIKKEI                  (.N225: Quote, Profile, Research)  9,536.13         1.07 %     101.12 
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP (.MIASJ0000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research)    557.64         0.92 %       5.06 
 EUR/USD                  (EUR=: Quote, Profile, Research)    1.4181         0.11 %     0.0016 
 USD/JPY                  (JPY=: Quote, Profile, Research)     80.95        -0.04 %    -0.0300 
 10-YR US TSY YLD    (US10YT=RR: Quote, Profile, Research)     3.407             --       0.00 
 10-YR BUND YLD      (EU10YT=RR: Quote, Profile, Research)     3.272             --       0.01 
 SPOT GOLD                (XAU=: Quote, Profile, Research) $1,433.60         0.29 %      $4.11 
 US CRUDE                 (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research)   $105.70         0.09 %       0.10 
 -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
 * GLOBAL-Asia shares up after Wall St gains; dollar squeezed [ID:nL3E7EP036]
 * US-Earnings hope lifts stocks, S&P above key resistance    [ID:nN24183476]
 * Nikkei rises on foreign buying, ex-dividend date eyed      [ID:nL3E7EP06G]
 * TREASURIES-Traders poised to cash in on curve-flatteners   [ID:nLDE72O01W]
 * Dollar struggles, calmer markets stoke risk demand         [ID:nL3E7EP09Y]
 * Gold steady on euro zone woes; technicals pressure         [ID:nL3E7EP08D]
 * LME copper falls, ShFE flat; on track to end week firm     [ID:nL3E7EP0A8]
 * Brent heads for 3rd straight weekly gain on Mideast        [ID:nL3E7EP0BH]
 
 COMPANY NEWS:
 
 BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 BP and Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research), Russia's largest oil company, have been blocked by
an arbitration panel from forming an alliance to explore for oil in the Russian
Arctic and executing a $16 billion share swap. [ID:nLDE72N291]
 
 HANDSET MAKERS
 Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) warned its earnings
would slip as it spends heavily on the launch of its PlayBook tablet, sending
its shares tumbling as much as 12 percent in late trading on Wall Street.
[ID:nN24175647]
 
 EDISON (EDN.MI: Quote, Profile, Research)
 If talks between Edison shareholders EDF and A2A break down, Eni and Enel
could buy the assets of the utility after a break-up, Il Sole 24 Ore said
without citing sources. The Treasury Minister has already spoken to Eni and Enel
about the possible plan B for Edison, it said.
 
 CARLSBERG (CARLb.CO: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The Danish brewer could raise 40-50 billion Danish crowns ($7.6 billion-9.4
billion) for new acquisitions according to Chairman Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen,
daily Berlingske said. The brewer has digested its Scottish & Newcastle deal,
and is ready to carry out more acquisitions.
 
 SPANISH BANKS
 Unlisted savings bank CaixaCatalunya said it would seek 1.7 billion euros
($2.4 billion) in state funds.    For a story, click on [ID:nLDE72N2A9]
 
 SWATCH (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research)
 Swiss watchmakers have "huge backlogs and shortages", Marc Hayek, chief
executive of Swatch Group's (UHR.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) Blancpain, Breguet and Jaquet Droz, told
Reuters. For more, click on [ID:nLDE72N21Y]
 
 INTESA SANPAOLO (ISP.MI: Quote, Profile, Research)
 Italy's antitrust regulator said on Thursday it had cleared Intesa plans to
acquire Banca Monte di Parma subject to Intesa ending links with France's Credit
Agricole. [ID:nLDE72N254]
 
 ROCHE (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The family shareholder group that has controlled Roche Holding AG for
decades said one of its members has opted out, meaning it no longer holds a
majority of the voting rights in the Swiss drugmaker. For related news [ROG.VX]
 
 SIEMENS (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The German engineering and industrial group will shortly announce the
biggest restructuring since 2007 to create four sectors from three, Sueddeutsche
Zeitung said without citing sources. In addition, Siemens management will
recommend that the Osram unit be floated in an initial public offering, the
paper said. [ID:nLDE72N2E2]
 
 FIAT (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research)
 Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne pinned the value of Ferrari unit at 5
billion euros in a possible listing, adding that a merged Fiat-Chrysler is
likely to move its operational headquarters to the United States.
[ID:nN24161520]
 
 BASF (BASFn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The world's largest chemical company said it would invest about 860 million
euros ($1.2 billion) in a Chinese facility, which will produce a core component
mainly used for polyurethane foams. Production is expected to start by 2014.
Related news [SIEGn.DE-E]
 
 DEUTSCHE BOERSE (DB1Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research)
 Deutsche Boerse's bid to buy NYSE Euronext (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) looks like a smart move,
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said on Thursday, striking a more
positive tone about the deal. [ID:nN24202214]
 
 SCHNEIDER (SCHN.PA: Quote, Profile, Research)
 France's Schneider Electric signed an agreement to buy closely held
U.S.-based energy procurement company Summit Energy Services for $268 million.
[ID:nLDE72N27E]
 
 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

Europe Factors-Shares set to extend recovery rally