LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to open lower on Tuesday, mirroring weaker commodity prices and losses in Asia where stocks slipped after the Bank of Japan held policy steady and offered a bleaker view of the country’s economy.
The BOJ also removed language from its statement that it would cut rates further into negative territory if needed, a little more than six weeks after it shocked markets by adopting minus rates in stepped up efforts to revitalise growth and stoke inflation.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.7 percent.
In Europe, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were down 0.5 to 0.6 percent.
Commodities-related stocks will be in focus after oil prices fell on lingering concerns about oversupply and copper dropped as the dollar maintained its strength ahead of a slew of central bank meetings this week.
Up next on the central bank roster is the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank on Thursday.
The Fed is unlikely to raise rates this week but it will likely make clear that as long as U.S. inflation and jobs continue to strengthen, economic weakness overseas won’t stop rates from rising fairly soon.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.7 percent higher in the previous session, while major U.S. share indexes ended almost flat.
French telecoms operator SFR said core operating profit grew 20 percent to 3.86 billion euros in 2015 as cost cuts offset declining mobile subscribers.
Almost 300 institutional investors in Volkswagen have filed a multi-billion euro suit against the carmaker for what they see as breaches of its capital markets duty in the emissions scandal, the law firm representing them said.
Britain’s second biggest supermarket beat expectations with its first quarterly underlying sales growth in over two years, potentially helping its takeover approach for Argos-owner Home Retail.
Swedish budget fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz said sales rose 10 percent in February in local currencies from a year earlier, just below a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts for an 11 percent rise.
British insurer Legal & General posted a 14 percent rise in 2015 operating profit to 1.46 billion pounds ($2.08 billion), boosted by demand for products such as lifetime mortgages and the use of less capital in its annuity business.
The company expects to restart its dividend at the half year stage in 2016, the construction firm said on Tuesday, as its turnaround plan showed early signs of bearing fruit with a stabilisation of its order book and revenues.
Power firms go to Germany’s highest court to make their case for 19 billion euros ($21 billion) in damages for the forced shutdown of their nuclear plants in a case that pits the country’s struggling energy industry against the government. First day of two-day hearing. To start at 0900 GMT.
The lender expects its new IT platform “Group Finance Architecture” to trim costs by a double-digit million euro amount annually starting next year, CFO Stephan Engels told the Boersen Zeitung newspaper.
The telecoms group priced a 3-part 4.5 billion euro bond and said the order book was four times oversubscribed.
Separately, union Verdi has called on workers in customer service centres in Stuttgart and Heilbronn to strike as it pressures management in pay talks. More strikes will follow, the union said on Tuesday.
The French nuclear firm said it won tow contracts in the United States worth $200 million to supply used-fuel storage.
The French construction firm reported full-year 2015 group share net profit of 121 million euros versus 128 million a year ago and proposed a full-year dividend of 1.50 euros per share.
Airbus Helicopters said it signed a contract with Japan Coast Guard (JCG) for the purchase of an additional H225 helicopter. The helicopter is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2018.
The partially state-owned French aerospace and defence group said it expects to see a 40 percent drop in LEAP engine unit costs by 2020. The group’s CFO said capex to peak in 2016. He confirmed a dividend policy of a 40 percent payout ratio in future.
South Korea’s competition watchdog said it had fined HSBC Holdings Plc’s Hong Kong unit and Deutsche Bank AG a combined 59 million won ($50,000) for colluding on foreign exchange swap bids - its first-ever penalty for an FX derivatives-related case.
Tullow declared force majeure on two cargoes of Ghana’s Jubilee crude oil after an issue on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility that exports the oil.
Nicolas Maure, the chief executive of Renault in Romania, will become the new head of Russian carmaker Avtovaz , Les Echos newspaper reported, citing several sources.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted a priority review status to Roche’s new immunotherapy, atezolizumab, to treat advanced bladder cancer, the Swiss pharmaceutical maker said on Tuesday.
The Swiss sanitary equipment maker posted a smaller-than-expected year-on-year drop in full-year net profit while cautioning the continued integration of Sanitec would impact 2016 earnings. Geberit said it would offer shareholders a 2015 dividend of 8.40 francs per share, up 1.2 percent on 2014 but below a poll estimate for 8.52 francs. Shares were seen opening down 2.4 percent in premarket indicators.
Banco Santander Brasil on Monday completed its 150 million reais ($41.4 million) acquisition of prepaid payment card company ContaSuper, which the bank plans to turn into its digital arm. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)