European Factors to Watch- Indexes seen edging lower; energy in focus
LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - European equity indexes were seen opening flat to lower on Monday, with oil stocks in the spotlight after a further slide in crude prices overnight. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index were down 0.2 percent while contracts on Germany's DAX were flat at 0738 GMT. Trading in futures on France's CAC was halted due to technical problems at Euronext. Brent prices fell to a 5-1/2 year low early on Monday after the International Energy Agency forecast further price falls and OPEC's chief defended the group's decision not to cut its output target. Crude prices later staged a rebound, with Brent for January delivery last seen up 1 percemt at $62.47. European shares posted their biggest weekly loss since mid-2011 on Friday as a relentless slide in crude oil prices pounded the energy sector. COMPANY NEWS RIO TINTO, BHP BILLITON Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are amassing vast copper holdings in a push to capture a greater chunk of the $140 billion world market, apparently aiming to squeeze out high-cost producers just as they did in the global iron ore business. TECHNIP, CGG Technip said it had ruled out making an offer for seismic surveys specialist CGG after talks with the company failed to produce an agreement. Technip separately says it has agreed to buy the Franfurt-based Zimmer polymer business of Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions Germany. REPSOL Spanish oil major Repsol SA is finalising an offer for Canada's Talisman Energy Inc and has sent executives to Calgary to step up talks, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday. FCC A 1-billion-euro ($1.25 billion) rights issue by Spanish builder FCC has been fully subscribed, El Confidencial online newspaper reported on Sunday, citing financial sources. New investor Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, took part as expected, the paper said, as did existing FCC shareholders such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. ACCIONA The government of the Catalonia region, in northeastern Spain, is likely to revoke the Aigues Ter-Llobregat water management project contract previously awarded to a consortium led by Acciona, La Vanguardia reported on Sunday. SAINT GOBAIN Swiss construction chemicals group Sika said its management is no closer to an agreement with French building materials supplier Saint-Gobain, denying market speculation that helped the company's share price recover on Friday. HENNES & MAURITZ The Swedish fashion retailer said its sales rose 10 percent in November, just above a forecast of 9 percent in a Reuters poll of analysts. For more on the company, click EURO ZONE BANKS The European Central Bank gave initial approval to the plans of 13 banks to plug capital holes discovered in health checks, it said on Friday, bringing a landmark examination of the sector almost to a close. The plans will now go to the central bank's governing council for final sign off. COMMERZBANK The company plans to raise the price of its banking services for corporate customers due to persistent low interest rates, board member Markus Beumer told a newspaper. DANSKE BANK Danske Bank said it expects to make goodwill impairments of around 9 billion Danish crowns ($1.5 billion) relating to its activities in Finland, Northern Ireland and Estonia. For more on the company, click STORA ENSO The Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer said on Saturday it was selling a loss-making speciality fine paper mill in Germany to a company mainly owned by the private equity fund Perusa Partners Fund 2 for about 7 million euros. Stora said it will record a loss of 30 million euros, which will show as a non-recurring item in the 2014 fourth-quarter results. For more on the company, click KONE The Finnish lift maker said it won an order to supply 51 elevators to three office buildings in Changsha, China. Kone booked the order in the third quarter of 2014. For more on the company, click HSBC HOLDINGS The Swiss private banking arm of HSBC Holdings is not for sale, its head said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday. BAYER The drugmaker has failed in a last-ditch attempt to block the sale of a cheap generic version of its cancer drug Nexavar in India, after the country's Supreme Court ruled against it on Friday. DAIMLER China could overtake Germany and Italy to become the biggest market for Daimler's mini car brand Smart in a few years, Smart chief executive Annette Winkler said on Saturday. ACCOR The French hotel operator announced a strategic alliance with China Lodging Group to create a major new player in the fast-growing Chinese domestic travel and hospitality market. SYNGENTA AG Syngenta expects to win Chinese government approval soon for imports of a type of genetically modified corn at the center of lawsuits over U.S. grain shipments rejected by Beijing, a company spokesman said on Friday. VINCI French toll road operators will make new proposals about their contracts to operate France's highways at a meeting with the government next week, sources said on Friday. LUFTHANSA Lufthansa may soon face competition at its second biggest hub, Munich airport, from low-cost carrier Ryanair, a German magazine reported. MERCK KGAA Moody's downgraded the drugs and chemicals company's ratings to Baa1 with a negative outlook, citing effects of the multi billion-euro takeover of Sigma-Aldrich. Separately, Merck lured in a gigantic 8 billion euro order book for its jumbo hybrid deal on Monday, while leads say it locked in the tightest ever coupon for the asset class. AIRBUS Airbus said on Friday that the delivery of the first Airbus A350 to Qatar Airways has been rescheduled for December 22. GENERALI, UNIPOLSAI, CATTOLICA Rating agency Standand & Poor's said on Friday it had cut by one notch its long-term ratings on Assicurazioni Generali and other three Italian insurers following the downgrade of the country's sovereign rating. In a statement, S&P said it now rated Generali 'BBB+' from 'A-'. UnipolSai and Cattolica 'BBB-' from 'BBB'. ENEL In an interview on Sunday with Il Messaggero, CEO Francesco Starace said Enel will close 2014 with an EBITDA of more than 15 billion euros and a leverage ratio in line with its main rivals of 2.5 times the core profit. He forecast at least 1.6 billion euros in savings from maintainance investments which could be used to grow, pay higher dividends and, if necessary, cut debt. NORDEX German wind turbine maker Nordex is mulling paying a dividend for the first time since listing on the stock exchange as part of efforts to create a long-term investor base, its chief financial officer told a German newspaper. ENEL GREN POWER The renewables energy company has sold its 36.2 percent stake in El Salvador's La Geo for $280 million, closing operations in the country, Enel Green Power said in a statement on Friday. MEDIASET In an interview with Milano Finanza, CFO Carlo Giordani said sharing platforms, content and know-how with Vivendi and other operators could bring synergies, adding that the Italian group was also open to evaluate cross-shareholdings in any possible deal, although there was nothing concrete at present. MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) : 1100 GB CBI Trends Dec 1330 US NY Fed Manufacturing 1415 US Industrial Output Nov 1500 US NAHB Housing Market Index Dec ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0622 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,002.33 -1.62 % -33 NIKKEI 17099.4 -1.57 % -272.18 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 456.8 -0.82 % -3.77 EUR/USD 1.2448 -0.1 % -0.0012 USD/JPY 118.59 -0.15 % -0.1800 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.099 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.629 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,217.90 -0.34 % -$4.20 US CRUDE $58.39 1 % 0.58 > ASIAN SHARES FALL TO 9-MONTH LOW AS OIL PRICES SINK > OIL SLUMP LEADS WALL ST TO WORST WEEK IN 2-1/2 YEARS > JAPAN'S INBOUND TOURISM GROWTH BOOSTS RETAILERS, RAILROAD OPERATORS > TREASURIES-BONDS GAIN AS OIL PRICE SLIDE INCREASES DISINFLATION FEARS > FOREX-YEN EDGES UP IN CHOPPY TRADE AS RISK AVERSION RISES > PRECIOUS-GOLD SLIPS AS U.S. RATE HIKE WOES SURFACE > LME COPPER SHRUGS OFF OIL ROUT; CHINA STIMULUS HOPES SUPPORT > BRENT GIVES UP SOME GAINS, HEADS TOWARD $62 IN VOLATILE TRADE (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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