(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 24 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a weaker start on Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia, with a fall in commodities prices on the back of a firmer dollar and hawkish comments from another Fed official seen putting pressure on the market.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard joined a chorus of officials in highlighting the risk of at least two rate hikes this year, with the first perhaps as soon as April. Markets imply only one increase and dealers suspect an orchestrated attempt by the Fed to shift that thinking.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, France's CAC , Britain's FTSE and Germany's DAX were down 0.6 to 0.7 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.6 percent on Thursday. U.S. equities ended 0.5 to 1.1 percnet weaker in the previous session, when pan-European FTSEeurofirst 300 index closed 0.1 percent lower.
Trading volumes are likely to be thin ahead of the Easter holidays.
Two sources told Reuters that Volkswagen was not expected to unveil an agreement Thursday with U.S. regulators at a federal court hearing in California on how to address excess emissions in 580,000 diesel vehicles.
Separately, a spokesman for VW said the carmaker will recall 177,000 Passat cars built in 2014 and 2015 due to a technical glitch that could cause engines outage.
German paper Bild, citing financial sources, reported that plans by Volkswagen to issue a bond by late June have met with lukewarm investor interest amid the emissions scandal.
The French carmaker is recalling 10,649 Zoe electric cars to remove the potential risk of rupture to brake fluid hoses, a spokesman said.
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will cancel their flights to Brussels until the end of Monday, March 28, a spokesman said late-Wednesday.
Including previous cancellations, 156 flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Brussels were affected and 12,300 passengers. From Thursday, Lufthansa will start a daily bus shuttle between Frankfurt and Brussels.
Drillisch reported a 24 percent rise in 2015 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to 105.6 million euros. Separately, it said Chief Executive Paschalis Choulidis would step down for personal reasons.
The company agreed to buy Hungary's Diatron MI Plc, a maker of hematology applications, from private equity firm The Riverside Company and said the acquisition would be earnings accretive this year.
The media group said its Travel Retail division is targeting between 7 percent and 10 percent average annual sales growth through 2019.
Airbus and other Skymark creditors haved claimed 309 billion yen ($2.75 billion) in accounts receivables, which the bankrupt Japanese airline has been able to reduce in negotiatons, Nikkei reported.
The French retirement home operator said it aimed to raise its revenue this year to 3 billion euros and keep its EBITDA margin close to the 2015 level as it reported results for last year.
The French cable group's SFR mobile arm will allow rivals to buy rights to broadcast Premier League football, SFR CEO Michel Combes told Les Echos newspaper.
Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam received 18.9 million Swiss francs ($19.37 million) in 2015, according to the Swiss bank's annual report published on Thursday.
Thiam said on Wednesday he has total confidence in finance chief David Mathers and global markets head Tim O'Hara after large illiquid trading positions pushed the bank to accelerate its cost-cutting plan. For more, click on
Senator Chuck Grassley and other U.S. lawmakers are pushing for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have a formal role in weighing ChemChina's planned takeover of Switzerland's Syngenta, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Drugmaker Novartis agreed on Wednesday to pay more than $25 million to the U.S. government to settle civil charges that it bribed healthcare professionals in China to boost sales there, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said. For more, click on
Starbucks Corp said on Wednesday it will sell espresso pods for Nestle SA's popular Nespresso home brewers in Europe and unveil a new way for customers to earn loyalty points for free food and drinks outside its cafes. For more, click on
The Dutch authorities got information on "thousands" of their taxpayers' accounts at Swiss bank UBS before a court ruling in Switzerland this week put a hold on further disclosures, according to the Dutch finance ministry. For more, click on
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 Atul Prakash