European Factors to Watch-Shares seen opening higher, focus on Fed
(Updates futures prices, adds company news) LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a higher open on Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, with investors focusing on the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting for hints about the timing of a rate hike and on lingering Greek debt negotiations. The Fed statement is due at 1800 GMT, followed by Chair Janet Yellen's news conference half an hour later where analysts expect that she will focus on signs the economy is recovering after a bumpy start to the year. In Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused its creditors of trying to "humiliate" Greeks with more cuts as he defied a growing drumbeat of warnings that Europe was preparing for his country to leave the euro. Greece is set to default on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30 unless it receives fresh funds by then, possibly driving it towards the exit of the euro zone. Futures for the Euro Stoxx 50 index, Britain's FTSE 100, Frances CAC and Germany's DAX were 0.1 to 0.3 percent higher by 0647 GMT. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.6 percent higher in the previous session, having earlier hit its lowest level since mid-February. U.S. shares closed 0.5 to 0.6 percent stronger on Tuesday, helped by merger activity. COMPANY NEWS CARREFOUR Brazilian tycoon Abilio Diniz has raised his stake in Carrefour Brazil to 12 percent from 10 percent, a Paris-based spokesman for Peninsula Participações, the investment vehicle managing Diniz's fortune said on Tuesday. The investment was made in association with Singapore sovereign fund GIC through a new investment fund named Peninsula Fundo II. VIVENDI French media group Vivendi plans to increase its stake in Telecom Italia to between 10 and 15 percent, cementing influence over the group once its current big shareholders exit, said people familiar with the matter. The proposal is still under discussion internally and would need to be ratified by the Vivendi board. Vivendi and Telecom Italia declined to comment. OLD MUTUAL OM Asset Management prices an underwritten public offering of 13,300,000 of its ordinary shares at a public offering price of $17.50 per share. Old Mutual has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,995,000 shares at the public offering price, less an underwriting discount. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL Russian gas company Gazprom may offer up to 49 percent in its Baltic LNG project to a strategic partner and the most likely candidates are Royal Dutch Shell or a consortium of Japanese firms, Russia's Kommersant newspaper said on Wednesday. AIRBUS The boom in commercial plane orders of recent years appears to be giving way to a more sustainable pace of demand at the 2015 Paris air show, with jetmakers increasingly focused on lifting production to meet their record backlog of sales. REMY COINTREAU The company said it would raise its dividend after its annual operating profit improved by 13.5 percent, helped by cost controls, improving demand in China and good sales of higher-priced spirits in the United States. CONTINENTAL The automotive supplier will cut a "substantial" number of jobs at its Gifhorn plant, board member Frank Jourdan told Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. ALCATEL Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Michel Combes said that the timing of his departure from the telecom equipment maker, which is being taken over by Nokia , has not yet been set, refuting a media report that put it in mid-July. UBS South Korea's anti-trust agency chief said the agency is looking into whether the activities of six global banks, including UBS, that were recently fined nearly $6 billion in a U.S. and European forex probe had affected South Korean companies. For more click on REXAM European Union market competition regulators are set to decide by July 20 whether to approve the 4.4 billion-pound ($6.9 billion) merger deal between Ball Corp and Rexam, the world's two largest makers of drinks cans. NESTLE The Swiss food and drinks company is cutting 15 percent of its workforce in 21 African countries because it says it overestimated the rise of the middle class, the Financial Times reported. For more click on E.ON Brazilian power producer Eneva SA, controlled by E.ON and fallen Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, said on Tuesday it failed to meet a debt payment on June 15 after one of its creditors refused to postpone the maturity date. VOLKSWAGEN Audi's engine development chief is leaving the company just as the luxury brand is pushing into electric cars and faces growing competition from its German peer Mercedes-Benz. LINDE The industrial gases group is in "intensive discussions" with the Chinese government to enter the healthcare gases sector in the world's second-biggest economy and will make the move "as soon as the system allows it". AIRBUS The boom in commercial plane orders of recent years appears to be giving way to a more sustainable pace of demand at the 2015 Paris air show, with jetmakers increasingly focused on lifting production to meet their record backlog of sales. METRO Credit rating agency Moody's said Metro's decision to sell its Kaufhof department store chain was credit positive as it would reduce net debt by around 2.7 billion euros ($3.04 billion). GLAXOSMITHKLINE British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is investing $95 million to create a new U.S. research institute led by a top genomics professor to investigate how a cell's operating system works. TESCO Any buyer of Tesco's $6 billion South Korea unit will need a strategy to boost returns in a lethargic and saturated market for traditional retailers, likely involving real estate sales and a greater focus on Internet shopping. MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0830 GB BoE MPC Vote 0830 GB ILO Unemployment Rate 0900 EZ Inflation Final 1100 US Mortgage Market Index ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0513 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,096.29 0.57 % 11.86 NIKKEI 20206.76 -0.26 % -51.18 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 479.32 0.56 % 2.67 EUR/USD 1.1257 0.1 % 0.0011 USD/JPY 123.52 0.15 % 0.1800 10-YR US TSY 2.306 -- -0.01 YLD 10-YR BUND YLD 0.791 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,179.27 -0.18 % -$2.18 US CRUDE $60.04 0.12 % 0.07 > Asia stocks tread water, China sinks, all eyes on Fed > Wall St up with eyes on Greece, Fed; M&A supports > Nikkei falls in choppy trade, investors wary ahead of Fed > Yields fall on Greek debt concerns, before Fed announcement > Euro on defensive on Greece default fears, dollar upbeat ahead of Fed > Gold under pressure as investors await Fed for US rate outlook > Copper climbs off 3-mth lows as Greece worries simmer > Oil prices stable as strong fuel demand meets high production (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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