Europe Markets

FTSE, CAC, DAX Seen Higher on Chinese Data Boost


European stocks were called to open higher on Wednesday tracking Asia overnight where shares rose on better-than-expected manufacturing data out of China.

The FTSE is called 20 points higher, the DAX in Frankfurt is expected to be up by 27 points and the CAC 40 is called higher by 19 points.

Chinese PMI rose to 50.5 in January from 50.3 in December, but uncertainty in the global economy is likely to ensure pro-growth policies remain in place in the world's second largest economy.

The manufacturing data beat market expectations, predicting a contraction to 49.5 from the December figure.

The long anticipated IPO of social networking site Facebook is expected to take place on Thursday and Facebook will hand over paperwork to regulators on Wednesday morning for a $5 billion initial public offering, according to the International Financing Review (IFR).

The $5 billion preliminary target figure is lower than many anticipated, but could be increased in coming months according to IFR.

Five bookrunners will oversee the IPO with Morgan Stanley assuming the lead left role, while Goldman Sachs , Barclays Capital , Bank of America Merrill Lynchand JP Morgan make up the initial list of bookrunners, IFR reports.

Another internet giant, Amazon warned on Tuesday of a possible operating loss in the first quarter of 2012, following a weak fourth quarter for the retailer.

Amazon shares fell 8 percent after the firm predicted operating results ranging from a $200 million loss to a $100 million profit.

Portugal and Germany will both hold bond auctions on Wednesday, with Portugal expected to tender around 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in 3-month bills at 10:00 UK time, followed by a 5 billion euro ($6.53 billion) sale of German 10-year bonds at 10:30am UK time.

The European Commission is due to vote on the NYSE/Deutsche Boerse merger on Wednesday and is widely tipped to follow the advice of the EU's Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia who has recommended that the deal should be blocked.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Beijing on Wednesday, kicking off a three day visit to China.

Swiss pharmaceuticals firmRoche reported a drop in core earnings of 4 percent on Wednesday, while German semiconductor firm Infineon reported a reduction in first quarter net profit.

Manufacturing data from the UK will be released at 9:30am on Wednesday, followed by a flash estimate of euro area inflation at 10:00 UK time.