(Adds futures prices)
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - European equity futures rose on Wednesday, helped by a slight stabilisation in the hard-hit Chinese stock market although many investors were also expected to refrain from taking big positions before a policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Futures for the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.3 percent, as did Germany’s DAX futures. Britain’s FTSE 100 futures advanced 0.4 percent while France’s CAC futures moved up by 0.2 percent.
Asian shares were mostly higher on expectations that China could stem the rout in its markets without damage to its economy, while the Fed ends a two-day policy meeting later on Wednesday.
No move on U.S. interest rates is expected this week, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen has neither ruled out a September hike nor guided the market towards thinking it was a done deal in recent congressional testimony.
European shares had rebounded on Tuesday, with a key equity index ending a five-day losing streak, after some strong company results and corporate takeover activity lifted the region’s stock markets.
There was further evidence of takeover activity on Wednesday as Belgian chemical group Solvay will buy peer Cytec in a deal valuing the U.S. company and its debt at $6.4 billion.
The Greek stock market will also re-open this week after having been shut since late June due to capital controls imposed by the Greek government as it grapples with debt and economic difficulties. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks up as China steadies, wary of Fed > US STOCKS-Wall Street ends sharply higher as China jitters ebb > Nikkei edges lower as Fanuc, Tokyo Electron dive; Fed in focus > TREASURIES-Prices dip as Chinese stocks stabilize, new issues loom > FOREX-Dollar eases vs yen ahead of Fed statement; kiwi edges up > PRECIOUS-Gold wedged below $1,100 ahead of Fed meeting outcome > METALS-London copper jumps as shorts rush for cover > Oil prices fall on oversupply concerns, weaker dollar support
German drugmaker Bayer saw underlying core earnings increase by one third in the second quarter, helped by strong overseas currencies and a gain in prescriptions of new drugs such a stroke prevention pill Xarelto.
Daimler and Renault said their new production plant for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti cars in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will employ some 3,600 staff and have an initial production capacity of more than 230,000 vehicles.
France’s third-largest construction company posted higher second-quarter sales as strength at its concessions and energy businesses outpaced lower revenue from public works and construction.
HeidelbergCement agreed to buy control of Italcementi in a deal that values its smaller Italian rival at 6.7 billion euros ($7.4 billion), less than three weeks after Holcim and Lafarge completed their $44 billion cement mega-merger.
LafargeHolcim aims to pay a dividend of at least 1.30 Swiss francs ($1.35) per share, the world’s biggest cement maker said on Wednesday while laying out objectives for the second half of the year.
The world No.1 luxury goods group’s fashion and leather division, its biggest in terms of profit and sales, beat forecasts with a 10 percent rise in second-quarter sales driven by strong trading in Europe, Japan and the United States.
The French broadcaster said it remained cautious about the second half in the face of an uncertain economic environment after it reported first-half advertising sales rose 1.3 percent.
PSA Peugeot Citroen posted positive first-half net income on Wednesday for the first time in four years, meeting most of its recovery goals early while warning that it faced tougher market conditions in the rest of the year.
Sanofi said on Wednesday a first late-stage Phase III study of its LixiLan diabetes drug had met its main target, while another would be completed at the end of the third quarter.
Belgian chemical group Solvay will buy peer Cytec in a deal valuing the U.S. firm and its debt at $6.4 billion, the company said on Wednesday.
Zurich Insurance Group said any offer it might make for British rival RSA would probably be in cash. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)