European Factors to Watch-Shares to pause, set for 10th weekly gain
LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen pausing near 6-1/2 year highs on Friday, keeping a key regional index on track for a tenth consecutive weekly gain, its longest streak in nearly two years. At 0634 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were flat to down 0.1 percent, succumbing to some profit taking after strong gains on the previous day. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 hit a fresh 6-1/2 year high on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signalled it would keep an ultra-easy monetary policy for longer than the market had expected. The index was on track for its tenth consecutive weekly gain, extending its longest winning run since August 2012. Bullish equity markets have fuelled a wave of mergers and acquisitions deals and new market listings in recent months. Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) raised their offer for Alstom's energy businesses to compete with a revised bid by U.S. rival General Electric. U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc confirmed on Friday it had made a bid approach to Shire, which was rejected by the British group's board. It said talks were no longer ongoing. Shares in market operator Euronext will make their debut on Friday. They will be priced at 20 euros each - at the lower end of a previously announced price range of 19-25 euros a share. Some share price volatility may be on the cards on Friday as monthly and quarterly futures and options on European stocks expire, resulting in increased activity from market makers. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0633 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,959.48 0.13 % 2.5 NIKKEI 15349.42 -0.08 % -11.74 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 488.69 -0.52 % -2.57 EUR/USD 1.3625 0.12 % 0.0017 USD/JPY 101.87 -0.04 % -0.0400 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.621 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.333 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,311.70 -0.61 % -$8.00 US CRUDE $106.57 0.13 % 0.14 > WORLD STOCKS AT RECORD HIGH, GOLD HOLDS GAINS AS DOLLAR DIPS > S&P 500 ENDS AT A RECORD AS FED OPTIMISM LINGERS > NIKKEI FLAT AFTER RALLY, LINGERING FED OPTIMISM SUPPORTS > PRICES FALL ON WEAK TIPS AUCTION, REPOSITIONING AFTER FED > UPBEAT DATA LIFTS DOLLAR OFF LOWS, STERLING NEAR 5-1/2-YEAR HIGH > PRECIOUS-GOLD SET FOR BEST WEEK IN THREE MONTHS, NEAR APRIL HIGHS > COPPER HITS 2-WEEK HIGH ON TIGHT SUPPLY, ZINC AT 16-MONTH TOP > BRENT HOLDS NEAR $115, HEADS FOR 2ND WEEKLY GAIN ON IRAQ TURMOIL COMPANY NEWS ALSTOM, BOUYGUES Siemens confirmed that it and Misubishi Heavy Industries improved their offer for Alstom's energy businesses, raising the valuation by 400 million euros to 14.6 billion and increasing the cash element of the bid to 8.2 billion from 7 billion. Alstom said its board of directors would meet not later than Monday to "review and resolve upon" the updated offer from GE and the Siemens-MHI proposal, adding that it would not communicate further on the process in the meantime. French President Francois Hollande is due to hold meetings on Friday afternoon with General Electric, Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries about their proposals for Alstom. EDF A planned reform of regulated French power tariffs will bring an element of market prices into the calculation, removing a link with utility EDF's production costs and making them less open to challenge by rivals, sources close to the matter said. GDF SUEZ The French utility said U.S. regulators gave the green light for the Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the United States, paving the way for a final investment decision by its sponsors. GDF Suez and Santos have dropped plans for a multibillion dollar floating LNG project off northern Australia, citing poor expected returns, and said on Thursday they aim to consider alternatives swiftly. EURONEXT Shares of the stock market operator will be priced at 20 euros each - at the lower end of a previously announced price range of 19-25 euros a share - when they make their market debut on Friday, parent Intercontinental Exchange said. FIAT Fiat Chrysler plans to sell its treasury holding of about 3.5 percent in CNH Industrial as well as its 2.5 percent holding in the sister company to U.S. investors, the FT said, citing CEO Sergio Marchionne. Several newspapers cited Marchionne as confirming the group would list on Wall Street at the start of October, probably in the first two weeks. UBS U.S. authorities are probing UBS AG for criminal fraud after a former broker in Puerto Rico allegedly directed clients to improperly borrow money to buy mutual funds that later plunged, according to lawyers representing some of the investors. A Belgian judge charged the head of UBS Belgium on Thursday with involvement in an alleged multi-billion euro tax fraud by the Swiss bank's Belgian unit. TELENOR Norway's centre-right government will ask the parliament for the right to cut its stakes in Telenor ASA, a global telecoms company with 172 million customers in Europe and Asia, to 34 percent from 54 percent, the trade minister said on Thursday evening. A 20 percent stake in Telenor is worth around $7.1 billion at current prices. The government plans to publish a white paper on state ownership on Friday, a first step in the political process to reduce the stakes. TELECOM ITALIA Shareholder Telefonica on Monday sold a 103 million euro Telecom Italia mandatory bond it subscribed last November, Ilo Sole 24 Ore said, citing market rumours. NESTLE Nestle is trimming its huge range of businesses and pushing deeper into niche medical products to improve returns, but the food and beverage giant still likes its heft. MEDIOBANCA The current CEO of Mediobanca Alberto Nagel and its Chairman Renato Pagliaro are set to be re-appointed for another three-year mandate, a source close to the Italian investment bank's shareholders said on Thursday. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa, editing by Tricia Wright)
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