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LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - European equity futures fell on Thursday, with global markets weighed down by jitters in the fixed income sector.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures index fell 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX futures retreated 0.7 percent while France's CAC futures also fell 0.5 percent.
A pick-up this week in benchmark German and U.S. bond yields has made equities look more expensive in comparison to debt, and caused some investors to trim back equity positions to cash in on the stock market rally so far this year.
"The bond market moves are making investors quite anxious. I think everyone expected yields to rise once we started to see a bounce in oil prices as, naturally, this would change people's inflation outlook," said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.
"The pace at which they've risen has been quite surprising, which is probably a consequence of a lack of liquidity in the market at the moment. A small change in attitude can have a much greater impact," he added.
Dealers added that a rebound in the euro currency, whose weakness this year has benefited European exporters, could also weigh on the region's stock markets. > GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar sags after weak data, bond rout resumes > US STOCKS-Wall St little changed in earnings, data lull > Nikkei falls on bond market rout, Konica Minolta jumps > TREASURIES-Yields rise on supply; demand strong for 10-yr auction > FOREX-Dollar nurses losses after weak retail sales, kiwi jumps > PRECIOUS-Gold near 5-week high as soft US data eases rate rise fears > METALS-London copper flat, supported by weaker dlr, China easing hopes
> Oil slips, economic worries offset US crude stocks draw
Italian oil and gas group Eni is again looking to cut its stake in Saipem after putting on hold a plan to sell down its oil services unit due to a slide on oil prices, Eni Chairman Emma Marcegaglia said in a newspaper interview.
Italian insurer Generali said on Thursday its operating profit in the first three months rose 6 percent, as growth in its life business offset a fall in non-life business.
British broadcaster ITV said it had enjoyed a strong start to the year with net advertising revenue up 12 percent in the first quarter and its studios business returning to organic growth.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena has received a green light from the European Central Bank (ECB) to press ahead with a 3 billion euro ($3.4 billion) share issue and pay back a final 1.07 billion euro installment of state aid.
Anglo-South African financial services firm Old Mutual said first-quarter gross sales rose an above-forecast 18 percent to 7.3 billion pounds ($11.50 billion), but net client cash flows came in below forecast.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc will consider small additions to its North America oil and gas business, despite ruling out large acquisitions after its deal to buy BG Group Plc, Marvin Odum, director of Shell's Americas exploration and production business, said in an interview Wednesday.
Standard Chartered plc is seeking buyers for its Hong Kong pension business valued at about $350 million in a deal that would also involve a 15-year distribution agreement with the new owner, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Volkswagen has no plans to break up MAN SE or sell the group's non-truckmaking units, MAN's labour boss said, as VW forges a long-planned tie-up of its truck brands. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)