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LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Futures for the CAC 40 indicated a steady open for France's equity index on Monday, with trading volumes in Europe seen thin as several markets in countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States were shut for holidays.
The CAC 40 futures were up 0.04 percent at 0641 GMT as investors were seen trading cautiously following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday that she expected the central bank to raise rates this year.
Yellen said the U.S. economy was on course to bounce back from a sluggish first quarter and headwinds at home and abroad had started to wane. She also added that delaying a monetary policy tightening until employment and inflation hit the central bank's targets risked overheating the economy.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.1 percent weaker to 1,617.91 points on Friday, when U.S. stocks ended weaker following Yellen's comments after the market close in Europe.
Investors also remained jittery following the debt situation in Greece. The country's interior minister said on Sunday that Greece cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors, the most explicit remarks yet from Athens about the likelihood of default if talks fail.
After four months of talks with its euro zone partners and the IMF, the leftist-led government is still scrambling for a deal that could release up to 7.2 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in remaining aid to avert bankruptcy.
In Poland, President Bronislaw Komorowski conceded defeat to conservative challenger Andrzej Duda in Sunday's presidential election, a result that will set alarm bells ringing for the government, which faces its own election race later this year.
The Irish government said on Sunday it had received a report by an expert group advising it on the possible sale of its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus to British Airways owner IAG, paving the way for a long-delayed decision.
As part of his quest for a mega merger, the car maker's Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne sent an email to General Motors CEO Mary Barra in March suggesting combining the automakers but was rebuffed, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay will likely decide by early June whether to submit a bid to buy German department store chain Kaufhof from the Metro group, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
French gas and power group Engie could take a stake in nuclear firm Areva to create a large international group handling nuclear maintenance and services, its chief executive said on Saturday.
Separately, French power utility EDF has made an indicative offer for Areva's reactors business, a spokesman for Areva said. Les Echos newspaper, citing sources, said the offer was worth just over two billion euros.
Carmaker Daimler on Saturday announced a partnership with mobile technologies company Qualcomm Inc. to explore wireless recharging of mobile phones in cars as well as recharging of electric cars without cables.
Germany's Merck KGaA expects sales to grow by around 5 percent in its core operations over coming years, helped by its pipeline of prospective new drugs, its chief executive was quoted saying by weekly Euro am Sonntag.
The Turkish arm of French carmaker Renault on Saturday offered concessions including a cash lump sum to striking workers if they return to work.
China will slash import tariffs on consumer goods including skincare products, Western-style clothes and diapers from June, potentially giving a fillip to global brands and bolstering domestic consumption amid faltering economic growth.
French bank BNP Paribas is reviewing its global markets business in London in an attempt to cut costs and improve its profitability, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Italian market watchdog Consob has warned that the price of shares in Monte Paschi could rise excessively when they begin trading without the rights to buy into its new share issue on Monday, and said it would monitor the stock price carefully.
Fondazione Monte dei Paschi, the bank's foundation shareholder which holds a 2.5 percent stake, will unveil Monday or Tuesday whether it will take part in the rights issue, Chairman Marcello Clarich said on Saturday.
Bermuda-based reinsurer PartnerRe will ask its shareholders to vote on a merger with Axis Capital Holdings agreed in January, after rival bidder Exor refused to further sweeten its $6.8 billion offer.
Marco Patuano, the CEO of the phone group, welcomed as "excellent news" the utility's offer to let its infrastructure be used to lay fibre-optic telecom cables, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturady. Patuano said he liked the idea adding Telecom Italia and Enel had an excellent relationship.
The two companies are setting up a working group to study a possible joint project to develop a fibre-optic network, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Saturday.
The contest for Nokia's maps business has become a three-way race between German carmakers, a consortium including Uber and Baidu, and a third group including China's Tencent and Navinfo, people familiar with the process said.
Amgen Inc said it will terminate a collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop a psoriasis drug after it observed suicidal thoughts in the subjects of a trial.
The Spanish stock exchange regulator the CNMV will approve Orange's prospectus for its 3.4 billion euro ($3.73 billion) bid for Jazztel early this week, Spanish financial daily Expansion reported on Monday, citing the news agency Europa Press.
Separately, website Vozpopuli reported on Monday that Spanish low-cost mobile operator Yoigo is trying to speed up talks to acquire assets that Orange is interested in selling as part of its Jazztel bid.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Asian shares little changed, Fed views hurt some markets > Wall St ends lower after Yellen comments fail to inspire > Nikkei set for 7th day of gains on optimism over shareholder returns > U.S. bond yields rise on Yellen, inflation data > Dollar hits 2-month high vs yen after CPI boost > Gold struggles near $1,200 on Yellen comments, robust dollar > Shanghai copper plumbs 3-week low on stronger dollar > Oil prices edge up on firm Asian, U.S. demand
Reporting by Atul Prakash