European Factors to Watch-Shares seen stabilising; focus on M&A
EDINBURGH, June 17 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise for the first session in a week on Tuesday, buoyed by merger activity, but geopolitical tensions in Iraq and Ukraine were likely to keep investors wary of riskier assets. At 0609 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.2-0.4 percent higher. Helping to support the market was merger and acquisition activity. Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented a joint offer to French turbine maker Alstom late on Monday that included 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in cash. "Siemens and MHI propose a complicated deal in which Siemens seems to be the only clear winner in our view... It has the opportunity to consolidate its existing service network with that of Alstom, with the potential to reap the accompanying cost synergies," analysts at Barclays write in a note. "For Alstom, the proposal offers recapitalisation, but doesn't solve demand issues, in our view. We continue to believe the GE deal is better for Alstom shareholders." Siemens and Mitsubishi challenged a bid by General Electric who were seeking to work with the French government on a deal. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares shed 0.4 percent to 1,383.95 points on Monday, retreating further from a 6-1/2 year high hit last week, led lower by airlines as geopolitical concerns weighed on shares and the conflict in Iraq drove oil prices higher. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 fell 0.7 percent to 3,261.42 points, with Asian shares also under pressure overnight after a dispute between Ukraine and Russia over gas sapped investors' appetite for risk. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0612 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,937.78 0.08 % 1.62 NIKKEI 14975.97 0.29 % 42.68 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 489.27 -0.31 % -1.51 EUR/USD 1.3563 -0.07 % -0.0010 USD/JPY 101.96 0.13 % 0.1300 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.590 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.354 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,264.80 -0.51 % -$6.49 US CRUDE $106.66 -0.22 % -0.24 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares soft on anxiety over Iraq, Ukraine > US STOCKS-Wall St ends up slightly on M&A; Iraq watched > Nikkei bounces, geopolitical concerns restrain buyers > TREASURIES-Prices steady after solid data, buoyed by Iraq > FOREX-Dollar edges up as market awaits Fed meeting, Iraq news > PRECIOUS-Gold steady below 3-week top; Fed meeting eyed > METALS-Copper climbs on China stimulus outlook > Brent holds near $113 on Iraq supply concerns COMPANY NEWS ALSTOM, SIEMENS Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented a joint offer to France's Alstom on Monday that included 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in cash, challenging a bid by General Electric. Separately, General Electric wants to avoid a bidding war with Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over Alstom, but it is talking to the French government about potentially changing non-price terms of the bid, a person close to GE told Reuters. Related news SHIRE London-listed drugmaker Shire has hired investment bank Citi as an adviser, expecting to receive takeover approaches following a wave of deals in the healthcare sector, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. TELEFONICA Telefonica will win EU approval for its 8.6-billion-euro ($11.7 billion) bid for KPN's German unit E-Plus after agreeing to let smaller rivals in Germany piggyback on its mobile network, two people with knowledge of the matter said. AIRBUS The Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner, does not figure in the current plans of Delta Air Lines Inc DAL.N, an executive at the carrier said on Monday, citing the reliability and efficiency of smaller aircraft. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL The oil major launched a long-anticipated sale of most of its stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd on Tuesday, looking to reap about $5.7 billion as it moves to focus on developing its own gas assets in Australia. RSA INSURANCE GROUP LTD Britain's largest non-life insurer is looking to sell its Asian operations in an auction that could fetch up to $500 million and draw a wide range of suitors, people familiar with the sale process told Reuters. UK BANKS Exempting Britain's banks from planned European Union rules to curb risky trading would be illegal, the bloc's lawyers said on Monday in a legal opinion that marks another setback for UK attempts to limit Brussels' influence on the City. ADP The number of passengers passing through Paris' main airports rose 1.7 percent year-on-year in May to 8.1 million, ADP ADP.PA said. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Francesco Canepa, Anand Basu & Kim Coghill)
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