Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to track Wall St sell-off
PARIS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to drop at the open on Wednesday, reversing the previous session's tentative bounce and tracking sharp losses on Wall Street, hurt by the relentless drop in oil prices and Russia's brewing financial crisis. At 0720 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 1.0-1.2 percent. U.S. stocks fell for a third day in a volatile session on Tuesday, led by declines in consumer discretionary and technology shares. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.2 percent. Brent futures fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, down for a sixth straight session, with persistent worries of a supply glut keeping prices near a 5-1/2 year low under $60 a barrel. The Russian rouble continued to fall on Wednesday, down 5.2 percent against the dollar at 71.10, and 6.7 percent weaker versus the euro at 90.17. Greek shares will be in focus as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday faces the first of three rounds of a presidential vote that will determine whether the country is forced into snap national elections and a new period of political chaos. Athens's ATG index tumbled 20 percent last week, as the renewed political crisis rattled investors. After losing 8 percent in six sessions, European stocks rallied on Tuesday in what traders said was a technical rebound with short sellers taking some of their recent profits. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0720 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,972.74 -0.85 % -16.89 NIKKEI 16819.73 0.38 % 64.41 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 449.28 -0.65 % -2.93 EUR/USD 1.2491 -0.13 % -0.0016 USD/JPY 116.94 0.47 % 0.5500 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.066 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.596 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,199.00 0.23 % $2.79 US CRUDE $55.32 -1.09 % -0.61 > GLOBAL MARKETS-INVESTORS TAKE COVER FROM RUSSIA CRISIS, OIL DROP > US STOCKS-WALL ST FALLS 3RD SESSION, LED BY TECH, DISCRETIONARIES > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.38 PCT > FOREX-DOLLAR PULLS OFF LOWS BUT UNDER PRESSURE AHEAD OF FED > PRECIOUS-GOLD HOLDS BELOW $1,200, FED IN FOCUS > COPPER RETREATS ON NEGATIVE CHINA, RUSSIA ROUBLE CRISIS > BRENT DROPS BELOW $60 AS OPEC, RUSSIA KEEP OUTPUT STEADY AMID GLUT COMPANY NEWS: UNICREDIT The lender, one of Europe's banks with the greatest exposure to Russia, said on Tuesday it would not book any writedowns in the fourth quarter of 2014 or in 2015 because of the financial and economic crisis in the country. PHILIPS Philips will acquire Volcano Corp, a U.S.-based medical device maker, for $1.2 billion including debt, to expand in the image-guided therapy market. UCB UCB, Advent International and Avista Capital Partners agreed to terminate their acquisition agreement for Kremers Urban. MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA The chief executive of the Tuscan bank said it will likely launch its planned capital increase of up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in March or May next year to plug a shortfall uncovered by EU-wide stress tests. SANOFI Sanofi said on Wednesday that Merial, its animal health unit, had reached an agreement with Bayer HealthCare BAYGn.DE to buy two Bayer equine health products for an undisclosed amount. BOUYGUES, ALSTOM A deal struck this year giving the French government shareholder voting rights in power and railway equipment group Alstom before it acquires the shares themselves faces a legal challenge from a French shareholder rights group. FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE China has halted an anti-dumping investigation into European and Japanese makers of blood dialysis equipment, ending a six-month probe that had extended to the Chinese market leader, Germany's Fresenius Medical Care. ENAGAS Spanish gas grid operator Enagas said on Tuesday it had refinanced a syndicated loan, increasing it to 1.5 billion euros from the previous amount of 1.2 billion euros, and extending its maturity to December 2019. It has the option to extend it for another two years beyond that. TECHNIP French engineering group Technip said it had been awarded a contract of about 100 million euros by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to build a 6 MMSCMD onshore terminal at Odalarevu in Andhra Pradesh, India. GDF SUEZ The utility wants to become the biggest private producer of electric power in Latin America within three years, its chief executive Gerard Mestrallet said on Tuesday. Separately, chairman and chief executive Gerard Mestrallet said the French gas and power group is not considering splitting up like its German peer E.ON and sees strength in the synergies between its divisions. GERMAN UTILITIES German utilities are to put around 17 billion euros ($21.2 billion) into a fund to cover long-term costs connected with the decommissioning of nuclear plants, Sueddeutsche Zeitung said, citing internal documents of the economy and environment ministry. The companies will also set aside about 19 billion euros for nuclear dismantling and temporary storage, it said. AIRBUS The planemaker on Tuesday announced the resignation of the No.2 at its planemaking unit, Chief Operating Officer Gunter Butschek, after 2-1/2 years in the role. ORANGE French telecom group Orange SA has been sued in California by San Francisco-based startup Telesocial over an application that lets users make phone calls via their Facebook profiles, the Financial Times reported. FIAT CHRYSLER The company said it had completed the sale of 100 million common shares and of a mandatory convertible bond. Total net proceeds before expenses from both offering totalled $3.887 billion. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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