European Stock Futures Rise; BHP, Rio May Move, Premier Foods May Decline
European stock-index futures climbed, indicating the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index will extend a second weekly advance, as investors awaited the monthly U.S. report on jobs and unemployment. Asian shares rose, while U.S. futures were little changed.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group may lead gains by commodity producers as the mining companies rallied in Sydney. Ericsson AB may be active amid a report that Sony Corp. is getting closer to an agreement to buy the Swedish company’s stake in their mobile-phone venture. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) may move after Samsung Electronics Co. reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates.
Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring in December rose 0.4 percent to 2,245 at 7:44 a.m. in London, while FTSE 100 Index futures expiring the same month gained 0.6 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 2.1 percent, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent.
The Stoxx 600 has rallied 1.8 percent this week amid speculation policy makers will reach agreement to shield banks from the crisis and as the Bank of England expanded its bond- purchase program.
“The bulls are back in the driving seat -- at least for now,” said Cameron Peacock, a market analyst at IG Markets in Melbourne. “The focus should probably lie more with the improved economic data as opposed to the central bank interventions, so it’s going to make the non-farm payrolls which are due for release later today even more critical.”
The Stoxx 600 has still retreated 21 percent since this year’s high on Feb. 17 and is trading at about 9.7 times its companies’ estimated earnings, near the lowest since March 2009.
The European Central Bank said yesterday it will reintroduce yearlong loans, giving banks access to unlimited cash through January 2013. The central bank will also resume purchases of covered bonds to encourage lending. At the same time, the European Commission is pushing for a coordinated capital injection into banks and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said policy makers “shouldn’t hesitate” if it turns out financial institutions are undercapitalized.
A report today may show that U.S. payrolls increased at too slow a pace in September to bring down the unemployment rate. Employment climbed by 55,000 workers after no change in August, according to the median forecast of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The jobless rate held at 9.1 percent for a third consecutive month, according to the projections.
BHP Billiton, Rio
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, climbed 2.5 percent to A$37.20 in Sydney trading. Rio Tinto, the second largest, advanced 4.9 percent to A$66.40.
Ericsson may be active after the Wall Street Journal reported Sony is nearing a deal to buy out Ericsson from their mobile venture. The newspaper cited people familiar with the matter. Ericsson’s stake in the business may be valued at as much as 1.25 billion euros ($1.7 billion), the newspaper said, citing unidentified analysts. Ericsson spokesman Ola Rembe, Sony Ericsson spokeswoman Holly Rossetti declined to comment.
Nokia may be active as Samsung, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones, posted operating profit in the three months ended September of 4.2 trillion won ($3.6 billion), more than the 3.7 trillion won average of 28 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Saipem SpA (SPM) may gain after JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its recommendation on Europe’s largest oilfield services contractor to “overweight” from “neutral.”
Premier Foods, Vallourec
Premier Foods Plc (PFD) may slide as the U.K.’s biggest food manufacturer said third-quarter results were “significantly below our expectations.” Total sales for the group fell 3.6 percent to 477 million pounds ($737.7 million) and the full-year results will also miss analysts’ estimates.
Vallourec SA (VK) might drop after saying that second-half gross operating profit will be similar to that of the first half, held back by caution among distributors in non-energy markets and the movement of the Brazilian real against the euro. New projects will have a negative impact of 60 million euros to 80 million euros on 2012 gross operating profit, the company said in a statement.
Banco Comercial Portugues SA (BCP) and Banco Espirito Santo SA (BES) may move after Moody’s Investors Service said it took rating action on Portuguese banks, involving downgrades by one or two notches of the senior debt and deposit ratings of nine banks and downgrades by one or two steps of the standalone ratings of six of these banks.
Veolia Environnement SA (VIE) may decline after the world’s biggest water company was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at UBS AG.
Axel Springer AG may move. The German media company’s possible bid to buy WAZ Media Group’s stake in Kronen Zeitung newspaper could be blocked by the Dichand family, which owns half of Kronen Zeitung, Handelsblatt said.
Accor SA’s Chief Executive Officer Denis Hennequin forecast slowing growth at Europe’s largest hotel company as consumers and businesses reduce spending on lodging next year.
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