LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - European shares were seen opening slightly higher on Wednesday, following stimulus-fuelled equity gains in Asia and a drop in oil prices after Saudi Arabia ended its military campaign in Yemen.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open 5 points higher, or 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX to open around 40 points higher, or 0.3 percent, and France’s CAC 40 to open around 15 points, or 0.3 percent.
Top companies reporting results or sales updates included Tesco and Switzerland’s Roche and Richemont. Tesco reported its worst-ever loss, Roche reported a 3 percent rise in quarterly sales and Richemont said full-year profit would drop by more than one-third after losses on financial instruments including derivatives.
The dominance of high-speed trading strategies on financial markets was also back in the news, with the U.S. Justice Department’s announcement of the arrest of a high-frequency trader in the United Kingdom over charges he manipulated the futures market and played a role in sparking the May 2010 “flash crash”.
Britain’s biggest retailer posted the worst annual loss in its 96-year history on Wednesday after writing down the value of its stores by 4.7 billion pounds ($7.02 billion).
The world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs reported a 3 percent rise in sales in the first quarter on Wednesday, with growth held back by a strong Swiss franc.
The luxury goods firm said its full-year profit would drop by more than one-third and its tax rate would rise considerably after losses on financial instruments including derivatives.
Gucci posted a bigger than expected drop in first-quarter sales, which it blamed on a transition period as its flagship brand works to regain momentum under a new creative and management duo.
Sweden’s biggest company by sales said it had appointed the head of Volkswagen-owned Scania as its new top executive, replacing the embattled Olof Persson who for nearly four years led a sweeping efficiency drive at the global truck maker.
U.S. and UK officials are preparing to announce a settlement with Deutsche Bank as soon as Thursday over allegations that it tried to rig benchmark interest rates like Libor, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
The brewer said it kept its full-year outlook and reported organic revenue rise of 2.2 percent.
Poland said on Tuesday it would buy Raytheon Co’s Patriot missiles from the United States and provisionally selected French Airbus Group helicopters as it speeds up the modernization of its military amid tensions with Russia.
The aerospace company reported a 14 percent rise in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday and said it was very happy with the progress of the new LEAP engine, being developed for Boeing and Airbus jets.
The aerospace supplier posted a 32 percent drop in first-half current operating profit on Wednesday following a slump in earnings at its aircraft seats business and pledged to bring an end to delays in seat production by the end of the year.
The miner said on Wednesday it would delay an expansion of its iron ore output to 290 million tonnes a year, becoming the first big miner to slow a planned production increase amid a plunge in prices.
The energy group is seeking buyers for as much as $2 billion of U.S. pipelines and storage terminals, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Germany’s Osram plans to transfer its 2 billion euro ($2.5 billion) general lamps business into an independent legal structure, paving the way for a possible spin-off or sale and allowing it to focus on automotive lighting and components.
Kering says Puma first quarter sales rose 13 percent to 825 million euros, an increase of 4.5 percent on a comparable basis, and expects similar sales growth in the second quarter.
The semiconductor equipment supplier said it had agreed to deliver 15 next-generation EU systems to major U.S. customers.
The telecoms firm reported first-quarter revenue and operating income above expectations and kept its 2015 revenue forecast of around 2 percent growth.
A consortium of ADP, Vinci and Astaldi has won a tender to operate Santiago International Airport, in Chile, for 20 years from October.
The IT services company confirmed its goals for 2015 as it posted a 17.6 percent rise in first-quarter revenue to 2.427 billion euros. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Japan stocks at 15-yr peak, oil down as Saudi ends Yemen air campaign > Earnings cloud drags down Dow; Nasdaq gains on biotech M&A > Nikkei hits 15-year highs as financials, large-cap shares attract bids > U.S. bond prices slip with eyes on Greece > Euro pressured, Aussie up as inflation data cools rate cut talk > Gold slips as dollar firms; Greek debt crisis eyed > Copper listless amid weaker than expected China demand > Oil prices drop as Middle East tension ease
Reporting by Lionel Laurent