European Factors to Watch-Indexes to make flat start to March
(Adds further company news)
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - European shares were seen kicking off March on a flat note on Monday, with many regional benchmarks hovering at multi-year highs after the best start to the year since they started trading in late 1986.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index and Germany's DAX were up between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, although futures for France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 edged down by 0.2-0.3 percent by 0747 GMT.
European stocks gained 14 percent in the first two months of the year, boosted by the prospect of the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme set to start in March.
Investors' growing optimism about the euro zone will be put to the test when manufacturing data from the bloc's largest economies and the currency club as a whole is published between 0845 GMT and 0900 GMT.
Mergers and acquisition activity was set to be in focus.
France's Orange and Italy's telecom operator Telecom Italia have been discussing a possible alliance between the former monopolies, Orange's chief executive told the Journal de Dimanche.
Swiss cement maker Holcim is considering offering its shareholders a sweetener to win their approval for a planned merger with France's Lafarge, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday without citing a source.
Of interest to the tech sector, chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion. Continuación...