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MILAN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - European stocks shares were expected to open higher on Thursday, following gains in Asia and at Wall Street overnight, helped by indications from the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economy is strong enough to justify a rate hike.
France's CAC futures rose 0.94 percent by 0704 GMT. Germany's DAX futures was up 0.80 percent and the Euro STOXX 50 futures rose almost 0.82 percent while Britain's FTSE 100 futures added 0.57 percent.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open 28 points higher, or 0.45 percent, Germany's DAX to open 98 points higher, or 0.89 percent, and France's CAC 40 to open 43 points higher, or 0.88 percent.
Asian shares jumped on Thursday and the dollar backed off highs on expectations the Federal Reserve would be confident enough of the U.S. economy to raise rates in December but would then proceed with great caution on further tightening.
Heightened security jitters were not seen as having a meaningful negative impact on the market. On Wednesday, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended down 0.2 percent while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.6 percent.
Germany's Thyssenkrupp gave a cautious outlook for the year ahead and raised its dividend by less than expected, saying it was worried about cheap imports depressing steel prices.
Syngenta and other major seeds and crop chemicals companies are intensively discussing tie-ups, the Financial Times quoted the Swiss firm's chairman as saying on Wednesday, adding to a chorus of voices predicting a sector shake-up.
French catering-to-vouchers group Sodexo said on Thursday it would further cut costs to cope with a volatile global economy, notably a slowdown in Brazil and a halting recovery in Europe.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn will launch a class action lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of Australian owners of scam-tainted Volkswagen AG seeking total damages "well north" of A$100 million ($72 million).
Royal Dutch Shell cleared a major hurdle to its $70 billion takeover of BG Group BG.L on Thursday, winning a green light from Australia's competition watchdog, which said the deal would not change the dynamics of the domestic market.
French food group Danone unveiled on Wednesday new sales growth targets as it vowed to bolster the profitability of its struggling dairy division.
Lonmin LMI.L shareholders will on Thursday decide whether to approve a deeply-discounted $407 million share issue, as the beleaguered platinum producer seeks cash to stay afloat.
Mining giant BHP Billiton BHP.AX BLT.L said on Thursday its priority was to maintain a healthy balance sheet, but made no direct comment on future dividends amid speculation that tumbling commodity prices will force it to cut its payout.
Lufthansa is planning further talks with union representatives to try to resolve the two-year dispute over retirement issues that continued this month with a week-long walkout by workers, Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday.
Nokia's planned takeover of rival network gear maker Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA will give it far greater scope to invest in new technologies like 5G mobile equipment while cutting costs, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
The second-biggest Swiss bank will ask investors to approve two capital increases totalling around 6 billion Swiss francs($5.88 billion) to strengthen its balance sheet amid the bank's biggest revamp in almost a decade under its new CEO.
Its Sandoz unit is among about 30 companies weighing offers for Teva's portfolio of U.S. generic products, Bloomberg reported.
Chief Executive Frank Appel affirmed the logistics firm's 2016 guidance, citing in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the work that Deutsche Post did toward its medium-term strategy this year.
Spanish telecoms group Telefonica said on Wednesday it was considering halting investments in its Spanish fibre optic operations after the country's antitrust watchdog recommended it should share the network in some areas.
The company may face competition from alternative fibre optics providers which are planning to invest more than 2 billion euros in broadband expansion, Handelsblatt reported.
Shareholders to vote at EGM on Dialog's planned $4.6 billion acquisition of U.S. peer Atmel ATML.O.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asia shares rise, dollar dips on Fed wagers > Wall St rallies after Fed minutes solidify Dec. rate hike bets > Nikkei rises to fresh 3-month high, BOJ keeps policy steady > U.S. yield curve flattens after Fed minutes > Dollar takes breather after Fed minutes back hike bets > Gold climbs off five-year low as dollar pulls back > London copper mired near six-year lows as China worries persist > Oil prices edge up on short covering, but oversupply still bites
Reporting by Danilo Masoni