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LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s top FTSE 100 equity index is seen outperforming rival continental European markets at the open, with UK mining stocks expected to be supported by a rise in the copper price.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open up by 12-15 points, or 0.2 percent higher. Germany’s DAX was seen opening down by 16-19 points, or 0.2 percent lower, and France’s CAC 40 was seen opening unchanged to down by 4 points, or flat in percentage terms.
In spite of the mixed open expected for Europe’s stock markets, the region’s bourses remain multi-year peaks. Both the FTSE and DAX have set record highs this year, with new economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) helping to offset worries about Greece.
Greece’s economic and political situation remains a concern for many investors, but the Athens stock market ended higher on Thursday after the country’s Prime Minister told Reuteres that he was “firmly optimistic” about reaching an agreement with creditors by the end of April despite friction over issues such as pension and labour reforms.
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares at fresh 7-yr high, look past weak US data
> US STOCKS-Wall St ends slightly lower as earnings worries linger > Nikkei drops on weak U.S. data, investors eye earnings next week > TREASURIES-Bonds end slightly stronger as investors weigh growth outlook
> FOREX-U.S. data disappoints dollar bulls again, euro shrugs off Greece concerns > PRECIOUS-Gold holds below $1,200, poised for second weekly dip > METALS-London tin set for 11 pct weekly loss as demand falters > Brent crude oil prices fall as OPEC production soars
Lafarge and Holcim gave details on Friday of asset disposals in the United States that they propose as part of their planned merger, due to close in July.
Nestle, the world’s leading packaged food maker, reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter sales on Friday, helped by price increases.
Syngenta, the world’s largest maker of crop chemicals, on Friday maintained its full-year targets after posting a bigger-than-expected fall in first-quarter sales.
A top-level Volkswagen AG committee meeting to try to resolve a leadership crisis caused by a rift between its chief executive and chairman ended after less than three hours but VW did not make the results public on Thursday.
German lighting maker Osram raised its forecast for 2015 profitability on Thursday after its second-quarter results were boosted by favourable currency effects. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)