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(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report)
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - European equity futures fell on Monday, pointing to a weaker start for the region's stock markets given the impact of weaker oil prices and a pullback on most Asian markets.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were all down by around 0.4 percent by 0710 GMT.
Most Asian stock markets slipped on Monday after three consecutive weeks of gains as a retreat in oil prices made investors cautious, although losses were tempered by hopes that China may soon cut interest rates again as pressure on the yuan eases.
Top Chinese officials said on Sunday that China's economy was showing signs of improvement while capital outflows from the country were moderating, as they sought to shore up fragile investor confidence after recent market volatility.
Chinese stocks also rose on Monday after the state margin lender said if would resume some short term lending businesses and cut borrowing costs for brokerages.
AXA Chairman and Chief Executive Henri de Castries said on Monday he will step down on Sept. 1 after nearly 17 years as CEO to bring in a new management team to implement its new strategic plan.
Monsanto, the world's largest seed producer, has approached Bayer AG to express interest in its crop science unit, including a potential acquisition worth more than $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Energy giant BP has struck a deal with a local power company in China for the largest carbon permit buyback contract in the short history of the country's nascent carbon market.
Casino confirmed its plan to lower its debt on Monday after Standard & Poor's cut its rating on the French retailer's debt by one notch to non-investment grade, or junk.
Top investors in Rio Tinto say they want the global miner's new boss to proceed cautiously on acquisitions, focusing on the core, cash-generating iron ore business and on developing his own copper mines before looking for new assets.
The broadcaster is buying online advertising company Smartclip for almost 47 million euros, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
Sainsbury, Britain's No. 2 supermarket, was given a clear run to buy Argos-owner Home Retail for 1.4 billion pounds ($2 billion) after rival suitor, South Africa's Steinhoff International, withdrew from the race on Friday.
Total said on Friday executive committee member and new energies head Philippe Boisseau, who led the oil major into solar power, would quit next month and confirmed a newspaper report it aims to produce solar energy within two decades. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks slip as oil skids; China up > US STOCKS-S&P 500 turns positive for 2016 as recession fears fade > TREASURIES-U.S. prices climb on Fed rate hike outlook > FOREX-Yen finds favour as Asia's appetite for risk wanes > PRECIOUS-Gold eases, but underpinned by weaker dollar > METALS--Copper rises toward 4-mth high on support from weak dollar, demand > Crude oil falls for 2nd day as U.S. rig count rises
ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta