Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip; Iraq in focus
PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to fall on Monday, adding to last week's dip as mounting violence in Iraq prompts investors to further book recent lofty gains. Alstom will be in focus on Monday after sources said Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are putting the finishing touches on a joint offer for Alstom's turbine businesses. Also on the M&A front, the healthcare sector will be in the spotlight after U.S. medical device maker Medtronic Inc said it agreed to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion. The banking sector will be in the spotlight after ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny told a newspaper Stress tests being conducted on major European banks before the European Central Bank takes on supervising them late this year may end up being too tough. BNP Paribas will be eyed after France's finance minister said on Sunday that talks between BNP and U.S. authorities over a potential fine for the bank for breaching U.S. sanctions had progressed towards a "more equitable" level. At 0645 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.3-0.5 percent. On Sunday, Sunni insurgents in Iraq seized Tal Afar, a mainly ethnic Turkmen city in northwestern Iraq after heavy fighting, solidifying their grip on the north after a lightning offensive that threatens to dismember the country. The situation in Iraq sent Brent crude rising above $113 per barrel to near a nine-month high on Monday, fuelling concerns over a potential disruption to oil exports from the second-largest OPEC producer. The United States is considering holding discussions with Iran on ways to push back Sunni militants in Iraq, a senior official said on Sunday, in what would mark a major step in U.S. engagement with its longtime adversary. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares hit a 6-1/2 year high last week while Germany's DAX hit a record high, but rising violence in Iraq last week prompted investors to start booking profits late in the week. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0650 GMT: S&P 500 1,936.16 0.31 % 6.05 NIKKEI 14933.29 -1.09 % -164.55 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 491.01 0.01 % 0.04 EUR/USD 1.3544 0.01 % 0.0002 USD/JPY 101.77 -0.27 % -0.2800 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.581 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.353 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,283.50 0.55 % $7.00 US CRUDE $107.38 0.44 % 0.47 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES DIP, OIL FIRMS AS MARKET EYES IRAQ > US STOCKS-WALL ST EDGES UP ON INTEL BUT POSTS WEEKLY LOSS > NIKKEI DROPS ON IRAQ WORRIES; CHIP-RELATED SHARES SURGE ON INTEL > FOREX-DOLLAR DIPS VERSUS YEN, EURO REMAINS UNDER PRESSURE > PRECIOUS-GOLD HITS 3-WEEK HIGH ON IRAQ; PLATINUM GROUP METALS UP > METALS-METALS BUOYED AS IRAQ CONFLICT BOOSTS COMMODITY INDICES > BRENT ABOVE $113, HOLDS NEAR 9-MTH TOP AS IRAQ VIOLENCE INTENSIFIES COMPANY NEWS: ALSTOM, SIEMENS Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are putting the finishing touches on a joint offer for Alstom's turbine businesses that includes a cash element of roughly 9 billion euros ($12.25 billion), sources close to the bidders said. Siemens is due to present an offer by Monday. Separately, Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is pursuing its investigation of alleged corruption at Alstom, with the Attorney General giving permission for the SFO to prosecute the company and former employees for alleged overseas bribery if considered appropriate, the Financial Times reported on Saturday. HEALTHCARE TECH SECTOR U.S. medical device maker Medtronic Inc said it agreed to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion and shift its executive headquarters to Ireland. BNP France's finance minister said on Sunday that talks between BNP Paribas and U.S. authorities over a potential fine for the bank for breaching U.S. sanctions had progressed towards a "more equitable" level. CREDIT SUISSE BlackRock Inc. said Credit Suisse's guilty plea in a U.S. tax evasion case does not affect its business relationship with the Swiss bank, the chief executive of the world's biggest asset manager told a Swiss newspaper. AIRBUS, SAFRAN Airbus Group and Safran are set to boost co-operation with a joint venture in space launchers, aiming to galvanize Europe's competitive response to U.S. low-cost rival SpaceX, people familiar with the matter said. SANOFI French drugmaker Sanofi said on Saturday it was teaming up with U.S. medical device maker Medtronic in diabetes. BAYER OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc said it halted patient enrolment and dosing in all ongoing early-stage trials of two of its experimental cancer drugs over concerns of bone damage. The drugs are part of a collaboration with Bayer. RWE Germany's Economy Ministry is investigating whether to block the sale of RWE's oil and gas unit DEA to a group of investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, a spokeswoman said on Sunday. DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA, RYANAIR, EASYJET Lufthansa is considering creating a new low-cost platform within its Eurowings regional carrier to compete against budget rivals like Ryanair and Easyjet, Der Spiegel magazine reported. VOLKSWAGEN Russia's slackening growth and weakening rouble are having a knock-on effect for Volkswagen and Opel vehicle sales there, German magazine Der Spiegel reported. BANCA CARIGE The mid-sized bank, which is launching an 800-million euro rights issue on Monday to bolster its financial strength, said it may be need further capital-boosting measures, particularly in view of a pan-European health check of lenders. ACTELION Actelion Ltd said its experimental heart and lung drug Selexipag met its primary goal in a late-stage study, giving the Swiss biotech company a potential second big seller to replenish its product pipeline. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Alistair Smout)
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