(Adds futures, further company news)
LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - European shares were indicated to open flat to lower on Wednesday, marking time amid mixed corporate results and ahead of the release of business activity data from the euro zone and the United States.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were between flat and 0.2 percent lower.
Shares in BBVA were indicated to open 1-2 percent higher after the Spanish bank posted rising earnings from lending and fees in the fourth quarter of last year and said bad loans were steadily dropping.
Swedish peer Handelsbanken was seen opening down 2-4 percent, however, after it reported fourth-quarter operating profit below expectations, due to increased loan losses and weaker-than-expected income on mortgages.
Outside the banking sector, Belgian mobile phone group Mobistar and Norwegian non-life insurer Gjensidige were both seen opening down around 2 percent after their result releases.
Investors awaited final services sector and business activity indicator from euro zone countries and the currency bloc as a whole between 0845 GMT and 0900 GMT, which were expected to confirm an improvement in January from the previous month.
Oil & gas shares, which had been among the best performers in recent days as oil prices rebounded, could pause as crude futures dipped.
Spain’s second-biggest bank on Wednesday reported a 689-million-euro ($790.5 million) fourth-quarter profit, beating forecasts, after making a loss in the same period a year ago.
The Swedish bank unveiled an extra dividend as well as the appointment of its new chief executive - Frank Vang-Jensen - after posting fourth quarter operating earnings below forecast.
The bank said it is cutting 376 full-time jobs at its in-house financial accounting department in the coming three years, with some to be shifted to unit ComTS, which doesn’t have the same collective labour agreement as the bank.
Standard & Poor’s placed the long and short-term ratings of the bank on CreditWatch with negative implications as part of ratings actions following a review of government support.
The software company believes both its newer Internet-based cloud business and its classic packaged software and support business will contribute to operating profit growth over the next five years, Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic told investors on Tuesday.
The French bank said it would close its consumer finance operations in Brazil and book a 200 million euro hit in its fourth-quarter earnings as a result.
Credit Suisse is getting out of the U.S. equity retail market-making business by the end of the first quarter after failing to gain enough scale to justify continuing, the bank confirmed on Tuesday.
Separately, Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on Credit Suisse by one notch to BBB+ from A-, with a “stable” outlook, citing a review of government support.
Louis Vuitton’s successful renaissance under star designer Nicolas Ghesquiere boosted sales growth at LVMH’s flagship luxury brand and helped the group post stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter sales.
The French construction and concessions group said it won a 25-year service concession contract for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park stadium in London.
French toll-road operators took legal action this week to challenge the French government’s decision to freeze tariffs in 2015, a source close to the matter said.
Total’s major oil and gas projects in Africa will not be stopped by the sudden fall in crude oil prices and will help the French company meet its long-term production targets, Guy Maurice, the head of Total’s exploration and production branch in Africa, said.
The company said fourth-quarter adjusted revenue rose 6.5 percent at constant exchange rates to 376.3 million euros, adding that the trend for oil and gas companies to delay and cancel projects would continue in the short term.
Strong demand for pay TV in Britain and a record jump in customer numbers in Germany helped Sky to post a 16 percent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit in its maiden results as a European pay-TV group on Wednesday.
The company’s assets under administration rose 4.7 percent to a record 49.1 billion pounds in the six months to end of December, it said on Wednesday.
Negotiations made no progress on Tuesday as Royal Dutch Shell and union leaders haggled over a new wage contract for U.S. refinery workers who have been on strike for three days, the union said.
Pan Pacific Copper (PPC), Japan’s biggest smelter, said it would not be taking term deliveries of copper concentrate from BHP Billiton in 2015 after the two failed to agree on processing fees.
Chip designer ARM Holdings on Tuesday unveiled a new processor blueprint with improved computing performance and beefed-up graphics aimed at smartphones and tablets to be launched next year.
Fourth-quarter revenue reached 88.98 million euros, up 13.8 percent year on year, the ingredient manufacturer said.
Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas said on Tuesday it had signed a $700 million contract with Abu Dhabi Gas Industries to expand gas processing facilities.
Spain’s Vandellos II 1,000-megawatt nuclear power station in Tarragona, north-east Spain was halted on Tuesday due to the loss of an electrical connection following strong winds in the region, Spain’s nuclear authority said.
North American industry-wide order intake of heavy duty trucks came in at 35,400 units in January, a slowdown from three straight months of bookings about 40,000 units, ACT Research said in a statement.
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Q2 2015 Twenty-First Century Fox Inc
Q4 2014 General Motors Co
Q4 2014 Motorola Solutions Inc
Q4 2014 Prudential Financial Inc
Q4 2014 Whirlpool Corp
Q4 2014 Yum! Brands Inc
0845 IT Markit Services PMI Jan
0850 FR Market Comp PMI Jan
0855 DE Markit Comp PMI Jan
0900 EZ Markit Composite PMI Jan
0930 GB Services PMI
1000 EZ Retail sales Dec
1315 US ADP National Employment Jan
1500 US ISM Non-manufacturing PMI Jan
> ASIAN SHARES AT 3-MONTH PEAK, WARILY WATCHING OIL > WALL ST POSTS 2ND DAY OF STRONG GAINS, LED BY ENERGY > NIKKEI POSTS BIGGEST GAINS IN MORE THAN 2 WEEKS > U.S. YIELDS JUMP ON OIL RECOVERY, GREECE HOPES > DOLLAR NURSES LOSSES AS EURO RALLIES, COMMODITY CURRENCIES SURGE > GOLD STRUGGLES AS GREEK PLAN BOOSTS EQUITIES > COPPER REVERSES EARLY LOSSES, TRADES SLIGHTLY HIGHER > OIL SLIPS AFTER 4-DAY RALLY ON DEMAND CONCERNS, HIGH STOCKS (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Atul Prakash)