Europe Stock-Index Futures Drop on U.S. Debt-Limit Talks

European stock-index futures retreated, indicating the Stoxx Europe 600 Index will fall from its highest level in almost four weeks, as U.S. lawmakers continued to discuss raising the government’s debt limit. U.S. index futures gained, while Asian shares fluctuated.

ASML Holding NV (ASML) may move after forecasting a fourth-quarter gross margin that beat analysts’ projections. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA may be active after the world’s largest luxury-goods company reported revenue for the third quarter that fell short of estimates.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring in December declined 0.3 percent to 2,985 at 7:45 a.m. in London. Contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index decreased 0.2 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures gained 0.5 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1 percent.

“The deadline is looming and still no deal to resolve the U.S. fiscal deadlock,” Ian Williams, a market strategist at Peel Hunt LLP in London, wrote in a note to clients. “Markets are growing jumpy again, not helped by Fitch placing its U.S. credit rating on negative watch.”

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, made a last-minute attempt to influence the outcome of the fiscal showdown with a proposal that would extend government funding through Dec. 15, rather than Jan. 15 as the Senate plans. With the U.S. borrowing authority due to lapse tomorrow, Fitch Ratings put the world’s biggest economy on watch for a possible credit downgrade, citing lawmakers’ inability to reach a deal.

Senate Talks

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have restarted negotiations to find a solution that would reopen the government and prevent a default.

“Senator Reid and Senator McConnell have re-engaged in negotiations and are optimistic that an agreement is within reach,” a spokesman for Reid said in a statement. They had suspended their talks, while they waited for the House to act on Boehner’s plan.

European stocks have climbed for four days, their longest winning streak in two months. A report at 9:30 a.m. today may show that unemployment declined at a slower pace in September, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

ASML may move. Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment supplier forecast a gross margin in the fourth quarter of 43 percent to 44 percent. Analysts had projected 41.4 percent. The Veldhoven, Netherlands-based company also estimated net sales for the period of 1.8 billion euros, beating the 1.77 billion euros estimated by analysts.

LVMH may be active. The Paris-based company said late yesterday that revenue advanced to 7.02 billion euros ($9.5 billion) from 6.9 billion euros. Analysts had predicted 7.24 billion euros, according to the median of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales climbed 8 percent, excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency moves. That missed the 10 percent gain predicted by analysts.

Source: Bloomberg