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LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling for a third straight session on Thursday, set to drop further from a 7-week low and tracking U.S. and Asian shares down as commodity prices remained weak.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France CAC and Britain's FTSE fell 0.9-0.6 percent ahead of the cash market open.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.5 percent at its close, its lowest since late October. The index is down 2.2 percent over the last two sessions and is has fallen 5.8 percent so far in December.
"European indices are set to open significantly lower as tumbling commodities continue to put pressure on global markets," Farbod Mimeh trader at London Capital Group, said in a note.
Oil steadied but remained near seven-year lows, with weakness in the commodity prompting falls on Wall Street's blue-chip S&P 500, with Japan's Nikkei falling to a five-week low.
Mining stocks have also been in focus, under pressure this week even as copper prices have gained a foothold. Mining and trading company Glencore will be in focus after it increased its net debt reduction target and deepened its capital spending cuts as it fights for survival in the face of low commodity prices.
Other sectors that are sensitive to demand from China, such as auto companies, might also attract attention, after the head of China's auto manufacturers association told reporters in Beijing that vehicle sales in China are expected to grow 5-7 percent year-on-year in 2016.
French businessman Xavier Niel may demand a say on the strategy and board of Telecom Italia after spending 225 million euros ($246 million) on options giving him a potential stake of just over 15 percent, a regulatory filing showed.
The chief executive officer of TIM Participacoes, Rodrigo Abreu, said the telecommunications provider will review opportunities for consolidation when they arise but denied there was a deal in the works to merge with Brazil's biggest fixed-line operator Oi.
The car maker has agreed to pay $70 million in fines to resolve a U.S. investigation that it failed to disclose vehicle crash death and injury reports, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
Italy's power grid operator has agreed to buy high voltage power line assets from Italy's state railways for 757 million euros, strengthening its position as one of Europe's biggest power transmission companies.
Glencore Plc said it expected 2016 EBITDA of about $7.7 billion at current prices.
British income-focused investor Neil Woodford said on Wednesday he had sold his stake in Rolls-Royce, citing problems in the firm's military aerospace, marine and civil aerospace businesses.
Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it was reviewing its business interests in New Zealand as the company seeks to streamline its global portfolio amid a slump in energy prices.
Royal Dutch Shell has also shut its ethylene cracker complex at its Pulau Bukom manufacturing site in Singapore for maintenance to repair external corrosion in some areas, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is paying 23.8 million euros to German prosecutors to settle an investigation into tax evasion by part of Coutts, the Guardian reported. (bit.ly/1R9VriA)
The oil major said it had sold bonds worth $1.5 billion in Canadian acquisition Talisman in a deal set to boost pre-tax profit this year by more than $220 million.
Spain's Abengoa needs 450 million euros in liquidity, adviser KPMG said in a meeting with creditor banks late on Wednesday although banks said the company needs less, a source present at the talks told Reuters.
Profit at Inditex, owner of fast fashion group Zara, rose by one fifth in the nine months to October in line with expectations, with its on-trend offer ensuring a sprightly start to the current quarter.
Connecticut's regulator agreed to the conditions of Iberdrola's merger with the U.S. utility UIL Holdings late on Wednesday, permitting the Spanish group to close the $3 billion deal this quarter.
The German steel distributor said it has completely written off the goodwill on its North American operations and expects a group net loss of 350 to 380 million euros this year.
The telecom operator plans to use its customer data to improve its services, Chief Executive Thorsten Dirks told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Credit Suisse and Julius Baer are among a handful of banks vying to buy the Swiss private-banking arm of embattled Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA BBTG11.SA in a cut-price deal, sources with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters on Wednesday.
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The chemical maker's stock was seen opening up 5.5 percent in premarket indicators after Benzinga reported that ChemChina was said to be considering a purchase of company.
Hedge fund investor Kairos Partners, owned by Julius Baer, is gearing up to launch three funds with over $160 million in assets by year-end, bucking the trend in an industry that continues to see rivals close.
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia slips as weak oil feeds growth worries > US STOCKS-Wall St falls alongside oil on global growth concerns > Nikkei slips as sliding oil, firmer yen hurt sentiment > TREASURIES-Prices rise on safety bid as oil, stocks slide > FOREX-Dollar nurses losses, Aussie soars on jobs surprise > PRECIOUS-Gold sits tight as possible U.S. rate hike looms > METALS-Shanghai metals climb on hopes for government support > Crude prices rises on dip in crude inventories, but glut still bites (Reporting by Alistair Smout)