European Factors-Shares set to edge higher; ECB eyed

 (Adds futures, more company items; updates snapshot table)
 LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - European shares were set for a flat to slightly
higher open on Wednesday, staying near their highest in nearly four weeks on
optimism about economic growth.
 However, traders were expected to remain cautious ahead of Thursday's
rate-setting meeting of the European Central Bank, which is likely to see a 25
basis points rate rise from a record low of 1 percent and may give indications
of whether there will be further tightening.
 At 0624 GMT, Euro STOXX 50 (STXEc1: Quote, Profile, Research) futures were flat, Germany's DAX futures
(FDXc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were 0.1 percent higher and France's CAC-40 futures (FCEc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were 0.1
percent higher.
 On Tuesday, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of leading European shares
rose 0.2 percent to 1,143.94, the highest close since March 9. The index is up
more than 7 percent from mid-March lows after strong economic indicators, such
as U.S. labour data, boosted optimism that growth will not be significantly
derailed by Arab world tension and Japan's nuclear crisis.
 Oils gained, as Brent prices (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) topped $122 on continuing unrest in the
Middle East, notably Libyan supply issues.
 The European benchmark index is up more than 77 percent from its lifetime
low of March 9, 2009, helped by stimulus from central banks and governments
worldwide. 
 U.S. stocks were little changed after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve
meeting showed differences of opinion. Some Fed officials last month believed
they would have to hold to an easy monetary policy course beyond this year while
a few said the central bank should move to tighter conditions before year-end.
[ID:nN05140054]
  U.S. party political issues may worry investors. With time running short,
President Barack Obama failed on Tuesday to break a deadlock in budget talks
between his Democrats and Republicans that threatens a partial shutdown of the
U.S. government. [ID:nN05129523]
 "Traders are mildly bullish after a less hawkish than expected FOMC
statement. However, trading is likely to remain subdued today as traders stand
on the sidelines ahead of BoE and ECB interest rate statements tomorrow," said
Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at Capital Spreads.
 
 ----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT AT  0611 GMT----------------------  
                                      LAST        PCT CHG        NET CHG  
 S&P 500                  (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research)  1,332.63        -0.02 %          -0.24  
 NIKKEI                  (.N225: Quote, Profile, Research)  9,584.37        -0.32 %         -31.18  
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP (.MIASJ0000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research)    587.47         0.72 %           4.20  
 EUR/USD                  (EUR=: Quote, Profile, Research)    1.4267         0.34 %         0.0048  
 USD/JPY                  (JPY=: Quote, Profile, Research)     85.24         0.32 %         0.2700  
 10-YR US TSY YLD    (US10YT=RR: Quote, Profile, Research)     3.491             --           0.00  
 10-YR BUND YLD      (EU10YT=RR: Quote, Profile, Research)     3.409             --           0.01  
 SPOT GOLD                (XAU=: Quote, Profile, Research) $1,453.30         0.19 %          $2.70  
 US CRUDE                 (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research)   $108.14        -0.18 %          -0.20  
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------  
 * US STOCKS-S&P hovers near resistance, but volume weak     [ID:nN05154953]
 * GLOBAL MARKETS-Yen falls as BOJ meets                     [ID:nL3E7F602Z]
 * TREASURIES-Yields up on inflation worry, tightening fears [ID:nN05608271]
 * Yen extends slide, threatens breach of long-term support  [ID:nL3E7F6076]
 * Nikkei extends losses as post-quake rebound fades         [ID:nL3E7F607I]
 * PRECIOUS-Gold firms near record, silver hits 31-year peak [ID:nL3E7F603W]
 * METALS-Copper higher after China holiday                  [ID:nL3E7F6047]
 * Brent crude below $122, off 2-1/2-yr high on demand views [ID:nL3E7F60F0]
 
 COMPANIES
 
 MARKS & SPENCER (MKS.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
 Bellwether British retailer Marks & Spencer beat forecasts with flat
quarterly underlying sales and said it was confident of offsetting cost
pressures in an increasingly challenging market. [ID:nLDE7341M9]
 
 COMMERZBANK (CBKG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The German bank presented a roadmap for repaying 14.3 billion euros ($20.3
billion) in state aid by June. This amounts to a lion's share of 16.2 billion
euros in so-called silent participation, a form of non-voting capital, injected
by the German government at the height of the financial crisis. [ID:nWEA2910]
 
 INTESA SANPAOLO (ISP.MI: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The Itralian bank has approved a 5 billion euro rights issue to keep pace
with regulatory requirements and to stay competitive with rivals.
[ID:nLDE735050]
 
 AIRBUS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research)  
 European buyers will finally give their formal backing to a 3.5 billion euro
rescue deal for the troubled Airbus (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) A400M airlifter at a signing on
Thursday, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. [ID:nLDE7342CD] 
 
 NYSE EURONEXT (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
 The transatlantic stock exchange is considering to make a hostile counter
offer for its U.S. rival Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Les Echos reported. The French
newspaper cited unidentified banking sources confirming an article on Tuesday on
Dow Jones newswires. 
 
 VEDANTA RESOURCES (VED.L: Quote, Profile, Research) 
 Vedanta expects the Indian government to approve its long-pending deal to
take control of Cairn India (CAIL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) in the next few days, its chairman said,
adding that the issue of royalty payments should be treated separately.
[ID:nSGE735008]
 
 MISYS (MSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) 
 The British software firm posted a 7 percent rise in third-quarter revenue,
its strongest performance in the year to date, as its products serving banks and
financial markets won new customers. [ID:nLDE73507S]
    
 (Reporting by Brian Gorman)

European Factors-Shares set to edge higher; ECB eyed