GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. shares seen opening lower as tech giants stumble

Reuters - UK Focus

* European shares, U.S. futures dip

* Earnings depress Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) , IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) in after-hours trade

* Remy profit warning hurts European stocks

* Dovish Yellen dents dollar, sterling at 5-1/2 yr high

By Carolyn Cohn

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - European shares fell and U.S.futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Thursdayafter disappointing results from tech heavyweights Google andIBM, while the dollar fell on dovish U.S. Federal Reservecomments.

Futures prices suggested U.S. stocks will open 0.2percent lower. Google released earnings dataafter U.S. markets shut on Wednesday, showing that first-quarterrevenue fell short of Wall Street targets and that marginsnarrowed.

IBM Corp reported after hours on Wednesday itslowest quarterly revenue for five years as it struggles withfalling demand for storage and server products.

U.S. stocks had ended Wednesday with gains of 1 percent.

European stocks fell 0.25 percent ahead of theEaster holiday weekend. They were hit by a profit warning fromFrench spirits maker Remy Cointreau (Frankfurt: RMC.F - news) and a fall insales at UK spirits company Diageo (LSE: DGE.L - news) as the Chinesegovernment cracks down on ostentatious spending. Concern overthe tense situation in Ukraine also weighed on the market.

In addition, export-driven European companies have been hurtby the strength of the euro, which makes their products moreexpensive in other currencies.

"I don't think first quarter earnings will be great, asyou've still got a relatively high euro, which will cause a dragon year-on-year figures," said Nick Nelson, European equitystrategist at UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) .

The dollar and U.S. Treasury yields fell after Fed ChairJanet Yellen on Wednesday said it might take two years to returnto full employment and there was more risk of inflation stayingtoo low than going too high.

Achieving the Fed's economic goals "will likely require lowreal interest rates for some time", a policy view she said wasshared broadly across many advanced economies.

"Yellen's comments have hurt the dollar as she has indicatedthat the Fed is in no hurry to raise rates," Societe Generale (Paris: FR0000130809 - news) currency strategist Alvin Tan said.

"With U.S. yields at the bottom of its recent range, weexpect the dollar to remain soft. Only when yields pick up andthe market focuses on rate hikes by the Fed will the dollarstart to rally. That we expect some time in the third quarter ofthis year."

Yields on Treasury 30-year bonds dipped to their lowestsince June at 3.44 percent. German Bund futures rose 2 ticks to 144.38.

The dollar eased 0.14 percent to 102.08 yen. The eurowas 0.27 percent firmer at $1.3851.

Sterling hit a 5-1/2 year high against a basket ofcurrencies as recent data strengthened investor confidence inBritain's economic outlook.

Bonds in peripheral Europe extended their spectacular rallyamid speculation that persistently low inflation would force theEuropean Central Bank to launch further stimulus.

Yields on Spanish 10-year debt sank to theirlowest in over eight years at 3.044 percent, while Italian10-year yields hit an all-time trough around 3.1percent.

The yield on the first bond Greece sold after its 2012default dipped just below its issuance levels, as Athensrejoined the ECB-inspired peripheral debt rally following abrief period of selling pressure.

The situation in Ukraine remained tense, with the interiorminister saying on Thursday that three pro-Russian separatistshad been killed in shooting overnight in the town of Mariupol onthe Sea of Azov.

Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived foremergency talks in Switzerland, but there was little hope ofthem making progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armedpro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of eastern Ukraine.

Spot gold steadied at $1,298.50 an ounce, havingfound support around $1,290/1,293 after a technical selloff thisweek.

Brent crude for June dipped 11 cents to $109.49 abarrel though U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $104, with theUkraine tensions heightening concerns over Russian supplies. (Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney and Anirban Nagand Alistair Smout in London)

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