Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to fall; GDF-Suez eyed
PARIS, June 25 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling on Wednesday, tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia as mounting worries over violence in Iraq prompted investors to cash in recent lofty gains. At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.4-0.7 percent. In Iraq on Tuesday, security forces fought Sunni armed factions for control of the country's biggest oil refinery and militants launched an attack on one of its largest air bases less than 100 km from the capital. Shares in French utility GDF Suez will be in focus after the French government said it was selling a 3.1 percent stake in the firm to finance the acquisition of a state participation in engineering group Alstom. According to the terms of the placement, the shares will be sold overnight in a price range of 20.18 to 20.81 euros, which represents a maximum discount of 3 percent on Tuesday's closing price. Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Societe Generale and Goldman Sachs are joint book runners. Dutch conglomerate Philips and German tech firm Infineon Technologies AG will also be in the spotlight after sources told Reuters EU regulators are poised to fine the two companies along with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in the coming weeks for fixing prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards. French bank BNP Paribas will be in the spotlight again after sources said the lender is relocating its U.S. sanctions compliance operations to New York from Paris, ahead of a nearly $9 billion settlement it is expected to reach with U.S. authorities over violations of sanctions on Sudan and other countries. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0630 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,949.98 -0.64 % -12.63 NIKKEI 15266.61 -0.71 % -109.63 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 486.97 -0.4 % -1.98 EUR/USD 1.3608 0.02 % 0.0003 USD/JPY 101.89 -0.08 % -0.0800 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.583 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.311 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,313.70 -0.3 % -$3.90 US CRUDE $106.67 0.6 % 0.64 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES WITHER AS WALL STREET PULLS BACK > US STOCKS-WALL ST RETREATS ON IRAQ WORRIES AS DATA BOOST FADES > NIKKEI FALLS ON WEAK U.S. SHARES; ABE PLAN GETS MUTED REACTION > FOREX-POUND SAGS AFTER LESS HAWKISH BOE, G3 CURRENCIES ADRIFT > PRECIOUS-GOLD FALLS FROM 2-MONTH HIGH, PHYSICAL BUYING LAGS > METALS-LONDON COPPER HOVERS NEAR 3-WK PEAK, SUPPLY CRUNCH SUPPORTS > BRENT CRUDE HOLDS ABOVE $114 ON IRAQ CONFLICT COMPANY NEWS: GDF SUEZ France has agreed to sell a 3.1 percent stake in gas utility GDF Suez and could sell as much as 3.6 percent in order to finance the acquisition of a state participation in engineering group Alstom ALSO.PA, the government said on Tuesday. PHILIPS, INFINEON EU regulators are poised to fine Philips, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Infineon Technologies AG in the coming weeks for fixing prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, two people familiar with the case said on Tuesday. FCC U.S. billionaire George Soros, who has already bought shares in Spanish construction group FCC, has offered 1.5 billion euros to invest in a capital hike of the group and help refinance the debt of its controlling shareholder B-1998, online newspaper El Confidencial reported on Wednesday, without citing sources. SHIRE The drugmaker, which is seeking to defend itself after receiving a $46 billion approach from U.S. group AbbVie, said on Wednesday a U.S. court had endorsed its patents on top-selling hyperactivity drug Vyvanse. ACS, CORPORACION FINANCIERA ALBA Spanish investment group Corporacion Financiera Alba said late on Tuesday it had sold a 3.7 pct stake in construction and services group ACS for around 398 million euros ($541 million), cutting its holding to 11.3 percent and making it the second biggest shareholder in the group. STERIA IT services group Steria said Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL), its joint venture with the UK Cabinet Office, has been selected by the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office as preferred framework supplier for the provision of their shared service. LAGARDERE Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group said it would buy Perseus Books Group, keeping the books business of the sixth-largest U.S. publisher and selling the client services businesses to Ingram Content Group. BASF Chemicals giant BASF criticised moves to amend Germany's system of energy surcharges for industrial companies saying it sends a "disastrous signal from an industrial policy perspective, which casts doubt on Germany as an investment location." DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Deutsche Telekom and its Slovak Telekom unit are likely to be fined by EU antitrust regulators for squeezing out competitors by charging unfair wholesale prices in Slovakia, two people with knowledge of the matter said. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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