(Updates futures prices, adds company news)
LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - European equities headed for a higher open on Tuesday after falling in the previous five sessions, with some strong company results and mergers and acquisitions news seen supporting the market.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were 0.4 to 0.7 percent higher at 0641 GMT.
Zurich Insurance said it was weighing up a bid for RSA Insurance Group, a British insurer with a market capitalization of 4.4 billion pounds ($6.85 billion)..
Norwegian oil major Statoil posted second-quarter adjusted operating profit better than forecasts and maintained its quarterly dividend, while French tyre maker Michelin announced solid gains in first-half sales and profit.
European equities dropped to a two-week low on Monday, recording their fifth straight daily decline, as fears for China’s growth prospects overshadowed some forecast-beating results. The FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 2.2 percent lower at 1,529.77 points.
Shanghai stocks fell further on Tuesday even as Beijing pledged to lend further support after stocks sank 8 percent in the previous session, raising concerns about stability in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Investors also awaited a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting beginning later in the day, with some investors expecting that the central bank will make its case for hiking rates as early as September.
ZURICH INSURANCE, RSA Insurance
Zurich Insurance said on Tuesday it is weighing up a bid for RSA Insurance Group, a British insurer with a market capitalization of 4.4 billion pounds ($6.85 billion).
The oil major reported a second-quarter profit of $1.3 billion, missing analysts’ expectations, after taking a $9.8 billion pre-tax charge related to a settlement with U.S. authorities over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
The company said it would buy German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. specialty generic drugs business for about $2.65 billion in cash and stock to bolster its presence in the United States.
Engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries said it would sell its Elster business to Honeywell International Inc for 3.3 billion pounds ($5.14 billion) in cash.
Germany’s MAN lowered its full-year guidance for group profit and sales after posting a second-quarter loss on restructuring costs and plunging trucks demand in Brazil.
British broadcaster ITV said it expected its net advertising revenue to improve slightly in the second-half, helped by the Rugby World Cup.
Britain’s second-largest clothing retailer edged-up its annual sales and profit forecasts after beating its own guidance for first half sales growth.
Norwegian oil major Statoil posted second-quarter adjusted operating profit better than forecasts and maintained its quarterly dividend as it slightly lowered its capital spending outlook for this year.
The company posted a 16 percent rise first-half EBITDA to 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion), beating a forecast of 1.8 billion euros thanks to a solid performance from its liberalised energy business and a turn-around in regulated revenues for the Spanish islands.
French tyre maker Michelin posted solid gains in first-half sales and profit on Tuesday, holding firm to its full-year goals despite warning that it faced stiffer headwinds on raw materials and pricing.
France’s largest telecom operator Orange inched closer to a long-awaited recovery in the second quarter as customers shifted to high-speed mobile and broadband services, allowing it to confirm its annual profit, debt and dividend targets.
India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ proposed generic version of Bayer AG’s Finacea, a gel for treating the common skin condition rosacea, infringes Bayer’s patent, a U.S. court ruled on Monday.
The carmaker could pay billions of dollars to buy back defective trucks as part of a settlement with U.S. safety regulators, but has the option to recover costs by reselling vehicles once they are repaired.
The stock exchange operator raised its earnings outlook after acquiring three companies over the weekend in a sign that it is going back to takeover deals in its fight for global market share.
The company has said a $2 billion break-up fee that unwanted U.S. suitor Monsanto has pledged to pay if its proposed $45 billion merger failed would only apply in limited cases, leaving its shareholders exposed to the bulk of regulatory risks.
UBS said its provisions to deal with future legal tussle and regulatory run-ins stood at 2.368 billion Swiss francs ($2.46 billion) in June and revealed a widening probe into bond funds sold by the Swiss bank’s Puerto Rico arm. For more, click on
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office is preparing a civil case against Credit Suisse Group, the operator of the Crossfinder dark pool, that could be announced in the coming weeks, the Fox Business network reported, citing sources. Schneiderman’s office and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
The French drug company said it has agreed to invest up to $2.17 billion in a new cancer therapy collaboration with U.S. group Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Separately, Sanofi also said new data analyses published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that its vaccine candidate against dengue protected two-thirds of the participants in two late-stage studies.
The engineering company is to accept 300 million euros less than previously agreed for its power turbines unit from General Electric as a contribution to the U.S.-based buyer’s efforts to win antitrust clearance in Europe.
The group will buy Centor US Holding for $725 million in an all cash acquisitiion which is fully debt financed, it said on Tuesday.
French and German military tank makers Nexter and KMW are due to sign their merger deal on Wednesday, Le Figaro newspaper reported citing sources close to the situation.
Gucci, the flagship brand of French luxury and sportswear group Kering, posted a 4.6 percent rise in underlying second-quarter sales, marking a much sooner than expected rebound under its new creative and management duo.
Q2 2015 Cummins
Q2 2015 Ford Motor Co
Q2 2015 Gilead Sciences
Q2 2015 Merck & Co
Q2 2015 Pfizer
Q2 2015 United Parcel Service, Inc.
0830 GB GDP Prelim
1255 US Redbook
1400 US Consumer Confidence ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asian stocks hit 3-week lows as China gloom spreads > Wall St drops as China stock slump stokes growth fears > Nikkei falls to more than 2-week low as China plunge rattles investors > Long-term U.S. bond prices gain from China stock rout > Yen stands tall with Fed, China in focus > Gold stuck near 5-1/2-year low as Fed rate hike looms > London copper climbs as Beijing reaffirms support for shares > Oil prices drop toward 4-month lows on glut worries, equities sell-off