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Europe Factors-Shares set to dip; automakers in focus

Source: Reuters - Fri 21st Aug 2009

European equities were seen dipping on Friday,trimming the previous session's gains and mirroring losses in Tokyo, with shares of resource-related stocks set to feel the pinch of retreating commodity prices.

By 0619 GMT, futures for the DJ Euro Stoxx, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down between 0.3 percent and 0.4percent. Earlier, financial spread betters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open 22 to 31 points lower, or as much as 0.7 percent.

Shares of automakers will be in the spotlight after Japan's Nikkei average fell 1.4 percent, dragged lower by slumping auto shares ahead of the end of a U.S. rebate programme. The popular "cash-for-clunkers" program, that gives rebates for car buyers trading in less fuel-efficient vehicles, will end on Monday, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Thursday.

In Tokyo, shares of Toyota Motor dropped 2.9 percent and shares of Nissan Motor, in which France's Renault has a significant stake, shed 5.2 percent.

Oil eased below $73 a barrel on Friday as optimism over the pace of demand recovery in the United States faded, while metal prices also fell.

Mining shares will be in focus after BHP Billiton said it did not expect to see "clean demand" for the global metals sector until early 2010.p>

The Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.1 percent in late trade.

Investors will scour U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech before the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium later in the day, for more clues on the outlook for the world's largest economy.

The market will also keep a close eye on U.S. existing home sales data, due at 1400 GMT. A Reuters survey of 61 economists predicted sales of previously owned homes climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million in July, the briskest pace since 5.1 million units were sold in September and up from 4.89 million units in June.

The FTSEuro first 300 index of top European shares, which gained 1.4% on Thursday, is up 0.4% so far on the week. The benchmark index has soared 46 percent since reaching a floor in March, and is up 14 percent year-to-date.

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