(Updates futures prices, company news items)
LONDON, Dec 30 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen steady at the open on Wednesday, although a pullback in oil prices could weigh on the shares of energy companies.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50 and German DAX indexes both rose 0.2 percent. Futures on Britain's FTSE 100 were flat while futures on France's CAC slipped down by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil futures fell around half a dollar early on Wednesday as the market remained under pressure from slowing demand and high supplies, while forecasts that a cold snap in Europe and the United States would be short-lived also hurt prices.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.5 percent on Tuesday, helped partly by a rise in banking shares.
Barclays Plc will pay more than $13.75 million to settle U.S. regulatory charges that it let retail brokerage customers make unsuitable mutual fund transactions, including more than 6,100 fund switches, over a five-year period.
The Bank of Portugal approved on Tuesday a transfer of bonds from "good bank" Novo Banco to Banco Espirito Santo (BES) in a measure that will help boost Novo Banco's balance sheet by 1.985 billion euros.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer said it has set aside nearly $200 million in additional provisions to settle a U.S. criminal investigation that it helped wealthy American clients dodge taxes.
Short sellers waiting for recently listed shares of Ferrari NV to swerve off the road may soon face higher costs to maintain their bets on the luxury sportscar maker.
Creditors suing Argentina over billions of dollars in defaulted bonds have subpoenaed HSBC Holdings Plc for information about the country's effort to raise money abroad, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Insurers are facing some of the costliest British floods on record as large parts of northern England, already inundated, brace for more heavy rain. Accountants estimate that insurers are currently facing a bill of up to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.22 billion) after towns, cities and countryside were deluged in recent days in the worst floods in Britain since 2007. However, the damage looks set to rise with a storm forecast for Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
French telecoms group Orange could buy a 10 percent stake in France's largest commercial television channel TF1, as part of reported talks between Orange and TF1's owner Bouygues, Le Canard Enchaine newspaper said.
A U.S. federal judge identified the former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, as one of several alleged co-conspirators in a bribery scheme that helped SAP to sell millions of dollars in software to Panama, according to a document reviewed by Reuters. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stock erase gains as crude oil rebound fizzles > US STOCKS-Apple and Amazon deliver rally on Wall Street > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 0.27 pct > TREASURIES-Bond yields rise after weak 5-year auction in sharp selloff > FOREX-Dollar steadies, commodity currencies lose steam as crude rebound fizzles > PRECIOUS-Gold treads water as dollar firms; poised for 3rd annual loss > METALS-London metals dip after rally as China demand concerns weigh > Crude oil prices drop more than 1 percent as weak outlook prevails (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)