(Adds futures prices, further company news items)
LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - European equity futures were flat on Friday, with many investors focusing on U.S. jobs data later in the day, for a sense of whether or not the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest rates next month.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50 and Germany’s DAX were flat, although futures for France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE 100 rose between 0.1-0.3 percent.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and New York Fed President William Dudley said this week that the U.S. was ready for higher interest rates if upcoming economic data justified them.
The median forecast for October nonfarm payrolls in a Reuters poll of economists is an increase of 180,000, above slightly sluggish job growth of 142,000 in September. The data is due at 1330 GMT.
There were some weak results out from leading European companies on Friday, with steelmaker ArcelorMittal cutting its outlook, telecoms group Telefonica reporting lower profits while luxury goods company Richemont warned of a challenging second half.
According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, 52 percent of companies on the European STOXX 600 index have beaten or met market forecasts with their third quarter results so far, although earnings guidance has been cut for the fourth quarter.
Data on Friday also showed that German industrial output suffered posted its steepest drop in more than a year in September, suggesting a slowdown in emerging markets was leaving its mark on Europe’s biggest economy.
BHP Billiton shares could also come under pressure, following a fall in the company’s Australian-listed shares after a dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil owned by Vale and BHP burst on Thursday. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares falter as markets await Fed policy clues from job data > US STOCKS-Wall St slips after mixed earnings as jobs report looms > Nikkei edges up as yen weakens ahead of crucial U.S. jobs data > TREASURIES-Two-year yields hit 4-1/2-year highs ahead of U.S. jobs data > FOREX-Dollar hovers near 3-mth high, U.S. jobs awaited for rate clues > PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near 8-week low ahead of U.S. jobs data > METALS-Copper steadies near 5-week low ahead of U.S. jobs data > Crude oil prices edge up; but oversupply, strong dollar drag
German insurer Allianz SE posted a larger than expected 15 percent decline in net profit in the third quarter, hit by outflows in asset management and declines in insurance.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of steel, on Friday cut its 2015 profit outlook, saying steel prices had fallen because of cheap Chinese exports.
Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc said on Friday it had agreed to buy ZS Pharma, paying a total $2.7 billion for its proprietary technology to develop novel treatments for hyperkalaemia, or high potassium levels.
A dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil that is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton burst on Thursday, devastating a nearby town with mudslides and leaving officials in the remote region scrambling to assess casualties.
BASF is putting its steel coatings business up for sale, in a deal that could value the business at up to about 500 million euros ($540 million), several people familiar with process said.
A group of investors has written to EU policymakers calling for tougher rules to control testing of car emissions as the best means of preserving shareholder value. The European Union last week agreed a compromise on new testing rules that allows vehicles to carry on emitting more than twice official pollution limits, despite the outcry caused by the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
Books and music retailer Fnac said on Friday that it had raised its offer for electrical goods company Darty in an agreed deal that would create a French market leader in white goods.
Lufthansa’s main cabin crew union said a week-long strike would start on Friday at the German carrier, after last-minute talks between staff and management over early retirement benefits and pensions broke down.
Cartier owner Richemont said it expected a challenging second half of its fiscal year after net profit in the first half to September grew less than expected, as strong demand for high-end jewellery could not make up for weaker luxury watch sales in Hong Kong.
Sanofi said investment in products to compensate for declining diabetes sales will prevent significant profit growth in the next two years, adding that earnings would outpace sales from 2018.
Telecom Italia has decided to go ahead with a conversion of its more than six billion saving shares into ordinary stock to raise cash, in a move which would dilute the grip on the company of its two French investors.
Spanish telecoms group Telefonica on Friday posted a 1.9 percent fall in third-quarter net profit to 884 million euros ($961 million), missing analysts’ forecast, although its home unit reported rising sales for the first time since 2008. #
Volkswagen’s luxury diesel cars in Europe are fitted with the same software that American regulators say was used to cheat emissions tests in the United States, the carmaker said on Thursday.
Dutch oil and chemicals storage company Vopak said on Friday it remains cautious on demand at its terminals supplying the Chinese market, as it reported 9-month earnings slightly below analysts’ expectations. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)