PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to fall on Wednesday,losing ground for the third straight session on mounting worries over corporateresults as the earnings season gets under way.
At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50
, for Germany's DAXand for France's CACwere down 0.1-0.4 percent.
Asian shares dropped on Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei average
2 percent and hitting a two-month low, hurt by fears sluggish global growth willbe reflected in corporate earnings.
Late on Tuesday, U.S. aluminium major Alcoa
kicked off the earningsseason, posting a quarterly profit before exceptional items and beating analystexpectations despite weak aluminum prices, although the company said it hadnoticed a "slight slowdown" in some regions and end markets.
"We know results and outlooks won't be upbeat. The question is: 'how bad itwill be?', so a lot of people stay on the sidelines to avoid negativesurprises," a Paris-based trader said.
"That said, there's been a wave of forecast downgrades, so chances are wemight get a number of companies beating expectations."
Analysts expect quarterly earnings for S&P 500
companies to fall byabout 2.3 percent from the year-ago period, according to Thomson Reuters data,which would be the first drop in U.S. quarterly earnings since 2009.
EADSand BAE Systems
will be in the spotlight on Wednesdayas the two companies have until 1600 GMT on Wednesday to declare theirintentions and either drop their merger plans or ask UK regulators for more timeto finalise a deal.
Several sources close to the negotiations said German Chancellor AngelaMerkel had opposed the proposal to combine the two companies, and shares of EADSand BAE traded in Frankfurt
were down 0.5 percent and 1.8percent respectively in early trading.
The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50
index has lost 2.4percent in the past two sessions, as fears over the upcoming earnings season andsimmering worries over whether debt-stricken Spain will request a bailoutspooked investors.
The index's next support level is at 2,450 points, representing a low hitearlier this month.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0628 GMTLAST PCT CHG NET CHGS&P 5001,441.48 -0.99 % -14.4NIKKEI8,596.23 -1.98 % -173.36MSCI ASIA EX-JP513.86 -0.7 % -3.64EUR/USD1.2849 -0.27 % -0.0035USD/JPY78.22 -0.01 % -0.010010-YR US TSY YLD1.717 -- 0.0010-YR BUND YLD1.475 -- -0.02SPOT GOLD$1,760.30 -0.19 % -$3.35US CRUDE$91.89 -0.54 % -0.50
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares fall, dollar rises, amid earnings gloom
> Wall St falls in tech-led sell-off, Alcoa up late
> Nikkei hits 2-month low on corporate earnings concerns
> FOREX-Euro slips near 200-day average as risk sentiment hurt
> Gold steady but pressured by stronger dollar, growth worries
> London copper firms on bargain-hunting; euro zone eyed
> Brent falls below $114 as sluggish economy outweighs supply risk
COMPANY NEWS:EADSEADS and BAE Systems
are making one last effort ahead of a 1600 GMTdeadline to breathe life into a troubled $45 billion aerospace merger, as doubtsgrow over German backing for the deal.
Hedge fund Children's Investment Fund has criticised the French aerospacemanufacturer over its acquisition policy in a letter sent to the company's twomost senior executives and has called for the appointment of new independentboard members, the Financial Times reports.
A German judge has renewed a push for Deutsche Bank and the family of latemedia mogul Leo Kirch to reach a settlement, the latest effort to settle one ofGermany's longest-running corporate disputes.
The steelmaker has received bids from at least five parties for its steelmills in Brazil and the U.S., with POSCO
, ArcelorMittal,JFE Steel Corp and Valeexpected to be in the running after the firstround, Die Welt reported.PPR
The French retail and luxury group confirmed plans to spin off its Fnac unitand seek a separate listing for the music and books retailer in 2013 as part oflong-running efforts to refocus its business on luxury and sports brands.
Italy's state investment holding company, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP),completed the sale of a 3.3 percent stake in oil group Eni
on Tuesdayfor 2.1 billion euros to help fund the acquisition of a controlling stake in gasnetwork company Snam.
Alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli exposed Swiss bank UBS to billions ofdollars of hidden market risk for weeks on end, peaking at nearly $12 billion onAug. 8 last year, a London court heard on Tuesday.
For more, click onCGG VERITAS
The company said its vessel availability rate rose to 93 percent in thethird quarter from 91 percent a year earlier. The vessel production rate fell to90 percent from 93 percent.
TeliaSonera's chief executive Lars Nyberg may resign before his term endsamid allegations of wrongdoings during its purchase of a 3G licence inUzbekistan in 2007, daily Dagens Nyheter reported, quoting sources.
The Danish oil and shipping group could sell an increasing amount of bondsto finance significant expansion plans within its oil business, Maersk Oil,daily Berlingske Tidende reported.
Unlisted Spanish bank Ibercaja said on Tuesday it would not go ahead with amerger with Liberbank after an independent audit showed a joint ventureincluding bank Caja 3 would have capital needs of 2.1 billion euros.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by James Regan/Sudip Kar-Gupta)
Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE FACTORS/