European Factors to Watch-Shares seen slightly higher on Greek optimism
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LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - European equity indexes were seen opening slightly higher on Wednesday, buoyed by fresh optimism that Greece would reach an agreement with its lenders.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were up between 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent at 0726 GMT.
A source close to the government said Greece intends to ask on Wednesday for an extension for up to six months of a loan agreement with the euro zone, on conditions to be negotiated.
The report helped the U.S. S&P 500 index end above 2,100 at another record high on Tuesday, with Asian shares also rising.
"Greece is driving the market today," a senior trader in Milan said. "U.S. markets briefly ripped... and Asia is up on the same piece of news."
Mergers & acquisition activity could provide further support. Vivendi said on Wednesday it has received a binding offer from Altice and Numericable-SFR for its 20 percent stake in Numericable-SFR.
As tensions between Russian and Ukraine continued, with a peace deal reached last week all but unravelling, Danish brewer Carlsberg said its fourth quarter operating profit fell by 22 percent due to weakness in Russia, one of its top markets. The firm also said its chief executive would leave in June. [ID:nL5N0VR2R8
The oil sector was also set to be in focus after Italian oil and gas group Eni said it would cut capital spending this year due to a sharp fall in oil prices while French oil services firm Technip raised its dividends, helped by an increase in orders. Continuación...