** TRADING HEADLINES **
- Putin Uses Oil to Deflect G-8 Criticism of Political, Economic Policies
- France’s Economic Growth Probably Slowed in Fourth Quarter, Survey Shows
- U.K. Pay Growth Slowed in January on Salary Agreements, Wage Survey Shows
- Norway’s Inflation Rate Probably Rose in January, Economist Survey Shows
- Goldman says Investors Should Sell Dollar as It Has Reached `Peak’ Vs Euro
** IN PLAY TODAY **
- Earnings of note: Puma, Volkswagen (?).
- Puma reports Q4 and FY05 figures today. The consensus is looking for Q4 Sales of EUR 306m, net profit of 34.8m and EPS of 2.17. For the Full year the market expects profit of 279m on sales of 1.72b and an EPS of 17.30.
- 3 Italia (the mobile phone unit of Hutchison Whampoa) may postpone its EUR 2b IPO after a six month slide in telecom stocks, people familiar with the sales said late Thursday.
- ENI said that Italy’s gas shortages will reach extreme crisis levels if cold temperatures persist.
- Arcelor extended its offer for Canada’s Dofasco for a second time to February
20 to allow sufficient time to obtain regulatory approvals.
- Bouygues, the world’s No. 2 construction company and operator of France’s third-biggest mobile-phone network, said fourth-quarter sales rose 17 percent to 6.6 billion euros, more than expected, helped by gains in road-building.
- DSM said after the close of trading it will repurchase up to 510,000 shares amounting to a maximum of 21 million euros to use for options plans. The buyback will start today.
- Repsol is in talks for a joint venture with Russia’s OAO Gazprom to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Siberia. Anadarko Petroleum will also join the project.
- Valeo, Europe’s third-largest car-parts maker, said fourth-quarter profit almost doubled to 38 million euros missing the 43.5 million-euro median estimate.