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LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - European shares were seen opening little changed on Tuesday, with main regional indexes pausing at multi-year highs after a rally in the previous session.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Britain’s FTSE 100 , Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were between flat to 0.1 percent lower at 0725 GMT.
Auto stocks were set to be in focus after industry data showed new car registrations in Europe rose 7 percent in February, with demand shifting from no-frills makes like Dacia toward mass market brands like Volkswagen and Renault. Shares in VW were seen opening 1.2 percent higher.
Shares in Hugo Boss were seen falling nearly 3 percent at the open after European private equity fund Permira placed close to 12 percent of the fashion brand shares for 113 euros apiece, fetching around 950 million euros.
Lufthansa was expected to open 0.9 percent lower after German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit said it would take strike action against Lufthansa on Wednesday March 18, targeting the airline’s short- and medium-haul flights.
Elsewhere, British supermarket Sainsbury’s posted a fifth straight quarter of declining underlying sales and said it did not expect the trading environment to improve any time soon.
Attention will turn to the macro economic diary at 1000 GMT, when the ZEW survey is expected to show an improvement in German economic sentiment this month.
The final euro zone inflation reading for February was forecast to confirm that consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro dropped 0.3 percent year-on-year.
Chilean copper miner Antofagasta posted a drop in annual profits and revenues.
BHP Billiton has put far less debt than expected into its $13 billion South32 spin-off, positioning the company formed from its unloved assets to weather tough markets and still pay a dividend.
Banks should not expect any soft treatment from the European Central Bank’s supervisory arm, ECB Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Monday, saying such an approach would not be a path to sustainable growth.
French telecoms operator Orange sought to convince EU antitrust regulators at a closed hearing on Monday that its proposed 3.4 billion-euro buy of Spanish peer Jazztel would not drive up consumer prices, according to people attending the hearing.
The French construction group said it had postponed a proposal for Clara Gaymard, head of General Electric in France, to join the board of the company.
France’s government is closely watching negotiations between Switzerland’s Holcim and Lafarge and wants any merged construction group to retain a solid presence in France, a government source said.
An IPO of car rental company Europcar by owner Eurazeo by the end of the first half of the year is still on the agenda, market conditions permitting, the head of Europcar said.
British insurer RSA Insurance Group Plc is considering selling its business in Latin America as part of a broad restructuring plan, the Financial Times reported.
Insurer Aviva is to boost its chief’s potential pay to 6.7 million pounds.
Italian insurer Unipol said on Monday it would raise 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion) via a new bond maturing in 2025 following strong demand from investors for a debt exchange offer.
The Italian gaming company said on Monday the High Court of England and Wales had cleared its merger with International Game Technology in one of the last steps before the merger becomes effective on April 7.
The Italian cooperative bank has offered to buy back up to 165 million euros in senior bonds sold to small investors in a bid to improve its debt structure, it said on Monday.
Supervisory Board Chairman Piero Giarda, Management Board Chairman Mario Anolli, CEO Giuseppe Castagna hold news conference. (1000 GMT).
The Swiss bank will pay $10 million in cash and provide $6.25 million worth of advisory work to Freeport-McMoRan Inc to settle allegations it contributed to the natural resources company having overpaid significantly for two oil and gas companies.
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India’s Merck Ltd said it sought members’ nod to enter into an agreement with Germany’s Merck KGaA.
Germany’s second-biggest utility has bought a minority stake in solar group Conergy, hoping to expand its foothold in the embattled solar industry after having missed the trend for years.
AMC Q3 2015 Oracle Corp
1000 DE ZEW Economic senitment, conditions Mar
1000 EZ Employment Q4
1000 EZ Inflation final Feb
1230 US Building permits, housing starts Feb > Asian shares rise on bets Fed may stay cautious > Wall St bounces as dollar drops, Fed worries ease > Nikkei ends at 15-year closing high > Bond prices inch higher on potential for dovish Fed > Euro steady after rebounding from 12-yr lows, Fed in focus > Platinum hits 5-1/2 yr low; gold awaits Fed meet > London copper little changed; softer dollar offers support > Brent crude oil below $54, reverses early gains on oversupply (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)