European Factors to Watch- Higher start eyed on M&A, ECB speculation
(Recasts, adds futures, further company news) LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - European shares were set to kick off September on an upbeat tone on Monday, helped by some mergers and acquisitions speculation and expectations of new monetary largesse in Europe. At 0630 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were up between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent. They were tracking gains on Wall Street and Asia as speculation that the European Central Bank, due to meet later this week, may announce new stimulus measures outweighed worries about weak Chinese data and tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine. British broadcaster ITV was seen opening between 1 percent and 2 percent higher after The Telegraph reported Liberty Global Plc, the owner of Virgin Media, was canvassing support from major ITV shareholders following its acquisition this summer of a 6.4 percent stake, raising speculation of a full takeover bid. Shares in Deutsche Telekom were indicated to be among top gainers on Germany's Dax index after Bloomberg reported Iliad is talking to private-equity firms about teaming to make an improved offer for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile US unit. Iliad finance chief Thomas Reynaud had said late on Friday that the French telecom firm's $15 billion bid for T-Mobile US made in early August remained "pertinent", but declined to comment further on the potential deal. Trading volume was likely to be thin, with the U.S. market shut for a national holiday. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0630 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,003.37 0.33 % 6.63 NIKKEI 15476.6 0.34 % 52.01 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 512.66 0.25 % 1.28 EUR/USD 1.3128 -0.03 % -0.0004 USD/JPY 104.14 0.09 % 0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.345 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.893 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,287.80 0.06 % $0.73 US CRUDE $95.77 -0.2 % -0.19 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES EDGE PAST CHINA BLUES, EURO WALLOWS > S&P 500 EDGES UP TO SET NEW RECORD; BEST MONTH SINCE FEB > NIKKEI'S GAINS LIMITED BY WORRIES OVER JAPAN'S RECOVERY > NIKKEI'S GAINS LIMITED BY WORRIES OVER JAPAN'S RECOVERY > FOREX-EURO HAMSTRUNG BY UKRAINE WORRIES, DOLLAR UP > PALLADIUM EXTENDS WINNING STREAK TO 4TH SESSION ON SUPPLY FEARS > LME COPPER SLIPS AS CHINA FACTORY GROWTH SLOWS > OIL UP ON UKRAINE TENSIONS, DATA, BUT POSTS SECOND MONTHLY FALL COMPANY NEWS: ILIAD, DEUTSCHE TELEKOM - Iliad is talking to private-equity firms about teaming to make an improved offer for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile US unit, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The French low-cost telecoms carrier is ahead of schedule on its 2015 goal to reach annual sales of 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) and will probably have 15 percent mobile market share by the end of this year, its finance chief said. * BARCLAYS, CAIXABANK - Barclays is selling its Spanish retail and corporate banking operations to Caixabank, the two companies said on Sunday, as the British bank starts shrinking its struggling European divisions as part of a major overhaul. * SWISS BANKS - At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources. * TESCO - One of the supermarket's largest shareholders, Harris Associates, has sold around two thirds of its stake, saying the retailer lacks a clear strategy, the Sunday Telegraph reported. * TELECOM ITALIA - The Italian phone company will consider all options to bolster its Brazilian unit, Tim Partecipacoes, after it lost a battle to buy Brazilian broadband business GVT, Telecom Italia Chairman Giuseppe Recchi told Corriere della Sera. Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa could be still open to discuss a tie-up with Telecom Italia, daily La Repubblica reported on Sunday in an unsourced report. The Italian group has decided to extend the deadline to complete the sale of Telecom Argentina by another three weeks from Sept. 1, Il Sole 24 ore said on Saturday. Il Sole also said that if as expected Vivendi takes a stake in Telecom Italia as part of its sale of GVT to Telefonica, the three Italian investors in Telco - Mediobanca, Generali and Intesa Sanpaolo - could delay their exit from the group to side with the French company. * NOVARTIS - A new heart failure drug from Novartis cut the risk of both cardiovascular death and hospitalisation by a fifth in a keenly awaited study, boosting hopes for a product that is seen as a multibillion-dollar seller. * SWATCH GROUP - The group is happy to go it alone with a launch next year of watches with "smart" features to compete with so-called wearable gadgets from the big tech companies, a market potentially worth $93 billion. * CRUISE OPERATORS - Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, the world's third largest cruise operator, is in advanced talks to acquire peer Prestige Cruises International Inc for around $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. * AIRLINES - Iceland cut its ash warning level for aviation to orange from red on Sunday, saying a fresh fissure eruption in Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano system was not creating ash. * FIAT MI> - Fiat-Chrysler aims to list shares in the newly merged carmaker in New York on Oct. 13, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Saturday, adding that a decision on any capital increase would be made at the end of that month. * AREVA, SIEMENS - The Areva-Siemens consortium said the start-up of Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor would be further delayed due to problems with the plant's instrumentation and control system. * HAVAS - The French advertising agency saw organic sales growth accelerate in the second quarter to hit 8 percent year-on-year, outperforming larger rivals such as Omnicom and WPP. Havas Chief Executive Yannick Bollore told Le Figaro in an interview this weekend that Havas would continue to pursue acquisitions at the rhythm seen so far this year. * PUBLICIS - Reports that the French advertising agency is in talks to buy online ad start-up Criteo are unfounded, a source close to Publicis said. French media reports to that effect sent Criteo shares up more than 20 percent. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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