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MORNING BID-Optimism remains intact as May gets going

05/03/2021 | 03:01am EDT

(Corrects reference to Siemens Healthineers share price in 7th paragraph, to show shares seen up, not down; corrects last bullet on Europe earnings to remove Stellantis and Ambu, which are not reporting earnings on Monday)

May 3 - A look at the day ahead from Danilo Masoni.

Holidays in UK, Japan and China will keep a lid on activity on Monday but optimism about the economic outlook is intact and a busy calendar of macro and corporate releases this week could keep markets confident that the world is recovering.

The week is packed with central bank events with the Bank of England policy meeting on Thursday, where investors are preparing for a possible tapering of bond purchases, while U.S. payroll data on Friday should show the U.S. is leading the way out of the pandemic downturn.

Purchasing Managers Index figures for manufacturers were positive across Asia and those due later on Monday are expected to show activity continued to expand in Europe and the U.S.. Earlier German retail sales posted their biggest year-on-year increase in March.

Early indications point to a flat open in Europe and mild gains on Wall Street, although concerns about the virus made for some nervous trading overnight in Asia as the latest statistics saw India's total COVID-19 infections near 20 million.

Weaker oil prices reflected concerns about the outlook for demand in India after fuel sales in the world's third-largest crude importer fell in April due to virus-related restrictions.

On foreign exchange markets, investors were cautious ahead of the central bank meetings and macro data, while crypto currencies were in the spotlight again after Ethereum surged above $3,000 to set a new record high.

On the corporate front, Siemens Healthineers raised its full-year forecast, helped by demand for its rapid antigen tests. Shares were seen up 2%.

According to BofA Global Research, 63% of European companies so far have beaten earning per share forecasts, the second strongest beats since 2005.

Dealmaking continues to be busy. KPN said it had rejected unsolicited takeover offers from private equity bidders, while a source said Apollo is close to buying the media assets of Verizon in a deal that could be valued at close to $5 billion.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Monday:

* German retail sales jump in March as lockdown measures ease

* Manufacturing final PMIs

* Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams 1800 GMT


* U.S. earnings: Estee Lauder

* Europe earnings: Qiagen, Siemens Healthineers

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni)

ę Reuters 2021
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