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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, May 19 (Reuters) - European equities headed for a lower open on Thursday, mirroring losses in Asian shares on concerns about another U.S. rate hike in the near-term, with weaker oil and metals prices seen putting pressure on resource-related stocks.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down 0.5 to 0.7 percent lower by 0657 GMT.
In Asia, stocks fell as markets scrambled to factor in the possibility of another interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, with minutes of the last Fed meeting suggesting a rate increase is firmly on the table at its policy review next month.
Commodities-related stocks will be in focus after oil prices were pulled down by rising U.S. crude inventories, a stronger dollar and surging output from Iran to Europe and Asia. Prices of major industrial metals were also down, pressured by a stronger dollar.
Travel and leisure stocks will also come into focus after EgyptAir said a plane carrying 69 passengers and crew on a flight from Paris to Cairo had gone missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.8 percent to 1,325.78 points in the previous session.
EgyptAir said a plane carrying 69 passengers and crew on a flight from Paris to Cairo had gone missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea.
Bayer said on Wednesday it has made an unsolicited takeover offer for Monsanto Co, the world's biggest seed company, as high inventories and low commodity prices spur consolidation in the global agrichemicals industry.
British holiday company Thomas Cook said its summer bookings were down 5 percent as tourists shunned Turkey, its second-most popular destination last year, leading to a lower forecast for full-year earnings.
Britain's Royal Mail reported a better-than-expected profit for the financial year, as tight cost controls more than made up for losses due to high competition in the UK postal market.
Germany's Henkel, maker of Schwarzkopf shampoo and Loctite glue, reported faster-than-expected growth in quarterly underlying operating profit on Thursday, helped by demand in North America and China.
Five major banks and four traders were sued on Wednesday in a private U.S. lawsuit claiming they conspired to rig prices worldwide in a more than $9 trillion market for bonds issued by government-linked organizations and agencies.
Bank of America Corp, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Nomura Holdings Inc were accused of secretly agreeing to widen the "bid-ask" spreads they quoted customers of supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSA) bonds.
Allianz Vie is to sell 3.9 million shares in Euler Hermes, equivalent to an 8.6 percent stake, in a private placement done via an accelerated bookbuilding process, it said on Wednesday.
The drugs and chemicals maker expects adjusted core earnings to increase by up to 18.5 percent this year, helped by additional profit from a takeover of lab supplies maker Sigma-Aldrich.
The company also reported encouraging interim data from a mid-stage trial of its experimental drug that helps the immune system attack tumors to treat a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer.
Britain's National Grid said its full-year pretax profit rose 15 percent, aided by strong growth in its interconnectors and property businesses.
British private equity firm 3i Group Plc said its net asset value rose to £4.5 billion ($6.56 billion) in its annual results on Thursday, warning market volatility and Britain's referendum on the European Union would weigh on sentiment.
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday said it launched an investigation into whether Volkswagen and its subsidiaries infringed hybrid electric vehicle patents owned by Baltimore-based Paice LLC.
Spend on TV advertising in Germany, the majority of which goes to ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL Group channels, is expected to rise up to 3 percent to over 4.5 billion euros this year, according to industry association VPRT. That means TV's share of advertising spend will rise to over 30 percent, from 29 percent in 2015.
German Wirecard reported confirmed its full-year EBITDA guidance of 290-310 mln euros after reporting first-quarter results.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer said on Thursday its assets under management rose 2 percent to 305 billion Swiss francs ($308.7 billion) in the first four months of the year.
Roche Holding won earlier-than-expected U.S. approval on Wednesday for its bladder cancer drug Tecentriq, the company's first entry in a new class of cancer drugs that work by harnessing the body's own immune system.
Norway's Yara International sees Vale SA's fertilizer business as one of several investment opportunities, as the company eyes potential further acquisitions in Brazil, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday.
The online pet supplies retailer reported a Q1 pretax profit of 2.9 million eurps and confirmed sales and earnings guidance for the year.
The French outdoor advertising group said it had renewed its advertising concession with Aeroports de la Cote d'Azur until 2027.
SEB said it has signed an agreement to acquire German kitchen tools and accessories maker EMSA for an undisclosed amount. EMSA reported sales of 92 million euros in 2015.
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; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)