European Factors to Watch-M&A in focus as indexes stuck in range
(Rewrites throughout) LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - European equity markets were seen opening flat to slightly lower on Tuesday, with mergers & acquisitions activity taking centre stage after a wave of deals. France's Orange said on Monday it reached a deal to buy Spanish fixed line telecommunications operator Jazztel in an effort to bolster its mobile operation the country and better compete with rivals Telefonica and Vodafone. Italian industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica has received four offers for its transportation unit Ansaldo STS, a spokesman for the company said. Club Mediterranee's board of directors said on Monday it "welcomes positively" a new, higher 22 euro-a-share takeover offer for the holiday group led by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. At 0633 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent lower. European indexes have been trading in a narrow range before Scotland votes on independence and the Federal Reserve holds its latest policy meeting, with both events due later this week. Justin Haque, a broker at Hobart Capital Markets, said the new M&A bout was a sign management teams were rushing to finalise deals in expectation of a rise in U.S. interest rates, which would increase borrowing costs and make financing acquisitions more expensive. "Everybody is buying just before rates go up," said Haque. "The only clever people here are structural sellers." SNAPSHOT AT 0631 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,984.13 -0.07 % -1.41 NIKKEI 15911.53 -0.23 % -36.76 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 492.65 -0.6 % -2.95 EUR/USD 1.2933 -0.05 % -0.000 7 USD/JPY 107.26 0.09 % 0.1000 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.574 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.052 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,235.80 0.25 % $3.06 US CRUDE $92.69 -0.25 % -0.23 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES ON EDGE AS INVESTORS BRACE FOR FED > NASDAQ SLUMPS TO WORST DAY SINCE JULY; S&P 500 DIPS > NIKKEI DROPS AS INVESTORS AWAIT FED OUTCOME; SOFTBANK SOARS > BARGAIN HUNTERS PUSH UP PRICES ON DROOPING DATA > DOLLAR PAUSES FROM RALLY AS FED COMMENTS LOOM, AUSSIE OFF LOWS > GOLD CLIMBS AHEAD OF FED MEET; U.S. RATE OUTLOOK EYED > LONDON COPPER INCHES UP, FED MEETING IN FOCUS > BRENT STEADY BELOW $98, CAPPED BY WEAK DEMAND COMPANY NEWS COMPANY NEWS ORANGE, JAZZTEL France's Orange said on Monday it reached a deal to buy Spanish fixed line telecommunications operator Jazztel in an effort to bolster its mobile operation the country and better compete with rivals Telefonica and Vodafone. BNP PARIBAS France's BNP Paribas has completed the purchase of Bank BGZ, Poland's No.11 lender by assets, from Rabobank for 4.5 billion zlotys ($1.39 billion) as part of a plan to expand in faster-growing markets. LINDT & SPRUENGLI Lindt & Spruengli said it has completed the billion-dollar-plus purchase of U.S. candy maker Russell Stover after clinching all regulatory approvals required. CLUB MEDITERRANEE Club Mediterranee's board of directors said on Monday it "welcomes positively" a new, higher 22 euro-a-share takeover offer for the holiday group led by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. ARCELORMITTAL ArcelorMittal and Gerdau said on Monday they were selling their Gallatin Steel U.S. joint venture to Nucor Corp for $770 million. RENAULT Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn is preparing to cut battery manufacturing, people familiar with the matter said, in a new reversal on electric cars that has re-opened deep divisions with alliance partner Renault. DEUTSCHE BANK Munich's regional court has sent out indictments against Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and several former executives at the bank in connection with the long-running Kirch bankruptcy case, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing judicial sources. TOTAL France's Total said on Monday it was assessing the consequences of the new set of sanctions on Russia, but that it was continuing work on Russian projects as planned. AIR FRANCE, LUFTHANSA European travellers face continued disruption as Air France pilots began a week-long strike in a dispute over cost cuts, but a pilots union at the last minute called off a strike planned for Tuesday at Germany's Lufthansa. UNITED INTERNET German internet service provider United Internet on Monday said it would issue up to 11 million new shares, or up to 382 million euros ($494 million) at Monday's closing price, in a private placement. IREN, E.ON The Italian government has recognised as strategic the LNG terminal that regional utility Iren and Germany's E.ON plan to build off the north-west coast of Italy, two sources close to the matter said on Monday. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa, editing by Tricia Wright)
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