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LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen opening slightly higher on Thursday, helped by better-than-expected Chinese inflation data while the prospect of more monetary stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) could also prop up equities.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open up by 3-6 points, or 0.1 percent higher. Germany’s DAX was seen up by 5-7 points, or 0.1 percent higher, while France’s CAC was also expected to rise by 9-10 points, or 0.2 percent higher.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.5 percent on Wednesday.
The European Central Bank is set to unveil its second stimulus cocktail in three months on Thursday, spurred by fears that low energy costs are feeding into wages and prices, potentially perpetuating ultra-low inflation.
The euro zone’s central bank is widely expected to cut its deposit rate deeper into negative territory and adjust its 1.5 trillion euro asset-buying scheme, hoping to boost prices after inflation dipped back into negative territory last month.
Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as China’s February consumer inflation numbers beat forecasts.
While the food-driven consumer price increase is likely to be welcomed by regulators worried that China could fall into a deflationary trap, some economists expect upward price pressures in the months ahead to be modest.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is expected to win EU antitrust approval for its $40.5 billion bid for Allergan’s generics unit after agreeing to sell off some of its products to appease regulators, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Credit Suisse Group is under investigation in Italy in connection with a case looking into allegations that the bank helped wealthy clients transfer undeclared funds offshore, Italian judicial sources said on Wednesday.
Nasdaq Inc said on Wednesday it would buy U.S. options exchange operator International Securities Exchange for $1.1 billion from Deutsche Boerse AG, the latest deal to emerge from a spate of exchange merger talks.
French bank Societe Generale said on Wednesday it would shed 550 jobs over five years as part of consolidation of its 20 French client treatment centres into 15 sites.
Volkswagen AG’s top U.S. executive is stepping down nearly six months after the German automaker admitted to installing software to allow 580,000 diesel U.S. vehicles to emit excess emissions, the company said on Wednesday. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks gain as oil bounce improves sentiment, ECB awaited > US STOCKS-Oil rally lifts Wall St, extending tight correlation > Tokyo’s Nikkei share average closes up 1.26 pct > TREASURIES-U.S. bond yields rise as traders see decline as overdone > FOREX-Euro pressured ahead of ECB, kiwi skids on RBNZ rate cut > PRECIOUS-Gold dips as stocks, dollar advance ahead of ECB meeting > METALS-LME copper consolidates near four-month peak > Oil prices dip as global oversupply outweighs strong demand
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta