Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rise; techs in focus
PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Monday, bouncing back from last week's losses with tech shares in focus after news of merger talks in the sector spurred a late-session rally on Wall Street on Friday. Intel Corp is in talks to buy fellow chipmaker Altera Corp in a deal likely to top $10 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter, which would make it Intel's biggest acquisition ever and the latest merger in the quickly consolidating semiconductor sector. Intel shares jumped 6.4 percent on Friday, making it the biggest boost to the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes, while Altera shares surged 28.4 percent. Infineon, STMicroelectronics, ARM and ASML feature among Europe's biggest chipmakers and chipmaking production equipment makers. At 0650 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.4-0.5 percent. Market sentiment on Monday was also supported by recent central bank comments. Weekend comments from Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan reinforced expectations for further monetary easing to support the country's slowing economy. On Friday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the U.S. central bank will likely start raising borrowing costs later this year, but emphasized the return to normal interest rates will be gradual. "The cautious tone that she struck stating that there was no set path, completely dependant on the data, and the fact that she highlighted the risks of raising rates too quickly as greater than leaving them low for too long is also set to play in to the hands of the bulls this morning," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note. Greek shares will be in the spotlight again after Greece and its international creditors continued talks through the weekend on reforms to unlock loans and Athens sounded an upbeat tone, but the lenders said it could take several more days before a proper list of measures was ready. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0650 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,061.02 0.24 % 4.87 NIKKEI 19411.4 0.65 % 125.77 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 484.5 0.43 % 2.07 EUR/USD 1.0866 -0.19 % -0.0021 USD/JPY 119.28 0.15 % 0.1800 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.953 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 0.195 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,193.20 -0.47 % -$5.60 US CRUDE $48.01 -1.76 % -0.86 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares swing higher as China nears 7-yr high > US STOCKS-Wall St ends 4-day skid on late tech rally > Nikkei up in choppy trade; airline shares outperform on weak oil prices > TREASURIES-Bond prices rally on month-end buying, hold gains after > FOREX-Dollar supported even as Yellen drives home message of patience > PRECIOUS-Gold slips as Yellen signals U.S. rate hike on track > METALS-London nickel slides to lowest since 2009 on weak demand > Oil prices fall as Iran, world powers seek nuclear deal COMPANY NEWS: TECH SHARES Intel Corp is in talks to buy fellow chipmaker Altera Corp in a deal likely to top $10 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter, making it Intel's biggest purchase ever and the latest merger in the quickly consolidating semiconductor sector. LAFARGE, HOLCIM, CRH Russian businessman Filaret Galchev, who owns a 10.8 percent stake in Switzerland's Holcim via Eurocement Holding AG, has rejected merger terms between France's Lafarge and Holcim, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday. RICHEMONT, YOOX Italian online fashion retailer Yoox could unveil a deal to buy Richemont's CFR.VX Net-a-Porter as early as this week, sources close to the matter told Reuters at the weekend. TOTAL French oil producer Total has agreed to sell a stake in an onshore oilfield in Nigeria for $569 million, bringing the proceeds from earlier divestments in the country to more than $1 billion. VIVENDI Vivendi has traded blows with activist investor PSAM over the fund's bid for a larger payout from the French media group, with Vivendi warning the fund could be in breach of the law and the fund accusing it of attempting to intimidate it. SAP Cloud software company Salesforce.com Inc aims to overtake SAP in terms of sales on the German company's home market in the coming years, the Europe chief of Salesforce told a German magazine. ABN AMRO The Dutch government will reconsider selling off ABN Amro, Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, after senior managers agreed to give up a controversial pay rise that had stalled progress on the bank's proposed share listing. GLAXOSMITHKLINE GlaxoSmithKline has reached a deal with the British government to supply a new meningitis B vaccine, following a lengthy stand-off over price with the product's previous owner Novartis. WORLD DUTY FREE, DUFRY Dufry plans to raise around 3.6 billion euros ($3.91 billion) through a mixture of debt and equity financing for its planned takeover of Italy's World Duty Free, Dufry said on Monday. SKY European pay-TV group Sky plans to bid in the next auction of rights to show German Bundesliga soccer matches, its chief executive told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. ITALIAN BANKS Italian banks are struggling to sell billions of euros of bad debts, making it hard for them to support new lending and help the country leave behind a three-year recession. RIO TINTO Proposals made to the Mongolian government by global mining giant Rio Tinto last November to restart the long-delayed Oyu Tolgoi copper mine were the firm's "best and final offer" and won't be changed, Rio's chief executive said. UBS The French division of Swiss bank UBS has been placed under formal investigation by French authorities and been asked to pay a 40 million euro bail, UBS said on Friday, in an escalation of a long-running probe into allegations the bank helped clients avoid taxes. INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP British Airways, which is owned by IAG, said on Sunday tens of thousands of its frequent flyer accounts had been hacked and that it had frozen those affected to sort the problem out. ROLLS-ROYCE The engine maker said Air China has selected Trent 1000 engines. COMPASS GROUP Britain's Compass Group, the world's biggest catering firm, said it expected first half organic revenue growth of around 5.5 percent after seeing a return to growth in Europe and Japan and strong demand in its North American business. TULLOW OIL Ivory Coast argued in an international tribunal on Sunday that allowing Ghana to continue oil exploration in a disputed offshore area pending a ruling on their border line would do irreparable damage to its economy and energy policy. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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