European Factors to Watch-Shares seen falling at the open
(Adds company news) LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - European shares were indicated to open lower on Thursday as hopes of a deal between Greece and its creditors at a summit later in the day receded, further straining investor nerves after weeks of fruitless negotiations. At 0618 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC indexes were down between 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent. Contracts on Britain's FTSE were down 0.3 percent. Hopes of a breakthrough on Thursday at a meeting of European finance ministers, once seen as the last opportunity for an agreement, looked increasingly remote. "Traders are keen to limit long equity exposure until some sort of clarity around Greece emerges," Stan Shamu, a strategist at IG, said in a trading note. Worries about the Greek crisis and its potential ramification to the rest of the euro zone more than offset the more positive sentiment coming from Wall Street, where U.S. shares ended slightly higher after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy is likely strong enough to withstand an interest rate hike later this year. COMPANY NEWS BILFINGER Indicated down 6.6 percent The German engineering services firm plans to put its loss-making Power unit up for sale, its new chief executive said on Wednesday, cutting its losses after five profit warnings in the past year. SAP Indicated down 1.6 percent SAP rival Oracle Corp forecast quarterly profit below analysts' estimates and said weak sales of its traditional database software licenses were made worse by a strong U.S. dollar that lowered the value of foreign revenue. BMW, DAIMLER, VOLKSWAGEN, NOKIA Shares indicated down 0.8 to 1.1 percent The three carmakers are preparing an offer for Nokia's maps business, as binding bids are due by end of Thursday, two sources familiar with the process told Reuters. Separately, Bloomberg reported that Nokia is leaning toward selling its maps business to a group of German carmakers, although price differences remain, according to people familiar with the matter. NOVARTIS Novartis AG said on Thursday it expects to increase its profit margin this year as it restructures its drug portfolio and cuts costs, as well as generate cash for a higher dividend and smaller, strategic acquisitions. For more click on SOCIETE GENERALE, CREDIT AGRICOLE French bank Credit Agricole said on Wednesday that it and Societe Generale had decided to sell shares of their Amundi asset management joint venture in an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of the year. ALSTOM General Electric Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said on Wednesday he has not seen any European Union objections to GE's plan to buy Alstom's gas turbines business that are different from those in GE's other European acquisitions in the past decade. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Comcast Corp is not interested in buying T-Mobile and has not discussed a deal with its parent Deutsche Telekom, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. FIAT CHRYSLER General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have turned to investment banks for advice in a face-off as FCA seeks to force a merger with its Detroit-based rival, according to several sources familiar with the matter. TELECOM ITALIA The Italian phone group is set to raise up to 875 million euros ($992 million) from the bourse listing of its tower unit INWIT after its shares were priced on Wednesday at 3.65 euros each. PROSIEBEN Indicated down 2.5 percent Popular German TV entertainer Stefan Raab will end his broadcasting career at the end of 2015 after 16 years at broadcaster ProSieben, the company said. MAJOR EUROPEAN COMPANIES REPORTING: RIC Event Name Q2 2015 SAS AB Earnings Release Full Year 2014 Poundland Group PLC Earnings Release Q1 2015 Premier Farnell PLC Trading Statement Release MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 0830 GB Retail sales May 1230 US CPI May 1230 US Initial jobless claims w/e 1400 Leading index May > Asia stocks up, dollar sags as Fed tempers rate tightening views > Wall St ends higher in choppy post-Fed trading > Nikkei falls to 1-week low after Fed; strong yen hurts sentiment > TREASURIES-Yields fall after Fed cuts growth, funds rate forecasts > Dollar hits 1-month low as Fed refrains from clearer rate signals > Gold extends gains on dovish Fed, softer dollar > London copper climbs as bets on delayed Fed hike dent dollar > Oil prices dip on U.S. gasoline build, but supported by weak dollar (Reporting By Francesco Canepa)
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