(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 31 (Reuters) - European equity futures fell on Thursday, with weaker commodity prices expected to weigh on stock markets which rose sharply in the previous session after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's called for caution in raising U.S. interest rates.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down by 0.4-0.6 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.3 percent on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's call for caution in raising U.S. interest rates buoyed global stock markets.
German insurer Allianz ALVG.DE is looking to sell a $5 billion portfolio of life insurance policies in Italy, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Global banking regulators will avoid forcing banks to set aside money to cover the risk of higher interest rates, two people with direct knowledge of their deliberations said, easing concerns among some banks about the potentially high costs of holding government bonds and long-term loans.
Orange and Bouygues said they decided to extend negotiations on a possible sale of Bouygues Telecom until Sunday, citing a lack of progress ahead of a Thursday deadline.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is talking with many players outside the car sector about possible collaboration, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said, and is keeping an open mind on what the possibilities might be.
Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG reiterated its 2016 group outlook when releasing on Thursday updated 2015 financial data under a new divisional structure it had announced in January.
Tata Steel's plan to sell its British steelmaking business has raised expectations of a long-awaited consolidation in the European steel sector, which is suffering from years of unaddressed overcapacity.
Telecom Italia has appointed state-industry veteran Flavio Cattaneo as chief executive to replace Marco Patuano, who resigned over what sources said were clashes over strategy with top investor Vivendi.
TUI Group said holiday bookings for this summer were higher than last year as Europeans chose to holiday in Spain and further afield instead of destinations like Turkey, putting it on track to meet its annual target.
Guarantor UniCredit is considering whether to delay Banca Popolare di Vicenza's 1.76-billion euro ($20 billion) rights issue, currently slated for April, if market conditions do not improve, three sources close to the matter said.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia edges up to 4-mth high after Wall St gains, dollar sags > US STOCKS-Wall Street plows higher as anxiety falls to 7-month low > Nikkei edges up as yen strength dampens mood > TREASURIES-Short-dated yields fall on gradual rate-hike view > FOREX-Dollar on the defensive as Fed's dovish message hits home > PRECIOUS-Gold rises on dovish Fed; poised for best quarter in nearly 30 yrs > METALS-Copper falls for 5th straight session on China concerns > Oil falls as US crude stocks hit record for 7th week in a row
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)