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MILAN, Jan 14 (Reuters) - European shares were set to open down on Thursday, tracking a sell-off in Asia and Wall Street overnight with sentiment depressed by continued weakness in oil prices, which briefly dipped below the key $30 level, and worries over global economic growth.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were all lower to fall between 0.9-1.1 percent by 0746 GMT.
European shares rose on Wednesday but ended off their highs on some profit taking and after a rise in U.S. crude oil inventories added to concerns about a deepening supply glut.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.4 percent to 1,354.8 points, extending Tuesday’s gains, but off an intraday high of 1,374 points.
Volkswagen could be in focus after U.S. environmental officials said talks will continue with the car maker aimed at reaching an agreement on a fix for hundreds of thousands of cars rigged to cheat diesel emissions tests.
Investors may also focus on Cartier owner Richemont after sales fell in the last quarter of the year, and on chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli which missed expectations for its full-year sales. Bilfinger could be supported after saying it received offers for the main division of its building and facility segment.
Lower prices and more staff helped Tesco post a much better than expected result over the key Christmas period, suggesting Britain’s biggest supermarket chain may finally be recovering after years of turmoil.
French retailer Casino posted fourth-quarter sales above expectations on Thursday, as a recovery in its core French market gained momentum thanks notably to previous price cuts, and kept its forecasts for improved profitability in France.
Cartier owner Richemont said the environment was likely to remain challenging after sales fell 4 percent in the three months to December, as a stuttering Chinese economy took its toll and Islamist attacks hit tourist spending in Europe.
Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli on Thursday missed expectations for its full-year sales after a sluggish global economy and hot weather hit consumer demand.
The French utility and the French nuclear group have agreed that Areva’s reactor business is worth slightly more than 2.5 billion euros as part of EDF’s plan to take a controlling stake in the unit, two sources said.
Areva will need a cash injection of 4-4.5 billion euros from the state, Le Figaro newspaper reported.
The French train maker said orders rose sharply in its fiscal third quarter as it reported a 7 percent rise in sales.
The boss of France’s biggest telecoms firm has been ordered to appear before a special disciplinary tribunal next week in connection with a financial scandal while he was chief of staff to the country’s finance minister.
The Paris airports operator said passenger numbers fell 2.8 percent in December to 7.1 million.
The engineering services group said it received offers for the main division of its building and facility segment, one of its two core businesses.
Co-CEO Juergen Fitschen said at an event in Berlin that people shouldn’t be too pessimistic on China, saying: “We would be well advised not to write China off.”
The speciality chemicals company has around 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) to spend on acquisitions and has been scouting for targets, its chief executive told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
U.S. environmental officials said on Wednesday talks will continue with Volkswagen aimed at reaching an agreement on a fix for nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles that emit up to 40 times legally allowable limits.
Separately, 60,000 people have signed up to class action lawsuit against VW being organised via the Netherlands, with the total damages now estimated around 10 million euros, a lawyer told Rheinische Post.
Some executives at the salt and potash miner are considering the idea of a separate listing of its Morton Salt division to better shield K+S against unwanted takeover offers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited company sources as saying.
Atmel said if it terminates the Dialog merger agreement, it will be required to pay termination fee in the amount of $137.3 million to Dialog.
The company is considering a secondary listing in the U.S. should its EPI Procolon product to test for cancer receive FDA approval, its CEO told investor magazine Boerse Online.
Monte dei Paschi di Siena BMPS.MI’s top shareholder, U.S.-based investment firm Fintech Advisory, is not selling down its 4.5 percent stake in the bank, a source close to Fintech told Reuters on Wednesday.
The bank’s management met its advisers on Wednesday after reports merger talks between rival Banco Popolare and Popolare di Milano were gaining traction, source closes to the matter said.
The bank’s top shareholder Compagnia di San Paolo is in no hurry to reduce its stake to around 6 percent from 9.4 percent now in line with regulatory requirements, chairman Luca Remmert said on Wednesday. It has until April 2018 to do so, and will present its disposal plan to the economy ministry by April 22, Remmert said.
The families of two BP employees killed in the 2013 Amenas gas plant attack in Algeria have filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court against the company, accusing it of failing to take reasonable steps to protect its workers.
Brewing giant AB InBev launched a $46bn bond on Wednesday, the second-largest bond in history, after amassing $110bn in investor orders to help fund its acquisition of rival SABMiller.
British takeover target Home Retail said on Wednesday it was in advanced talks to sell its Homebase home improvement stores to Australia’s Wesfarmers for 340 million pounds ($490 million) in cash, allowing it to focus on its Argos chain.
Spain’s Gamesa says its has received orders to supply wind turbines with a combined capacity of 23 megawatts in India.
Argentina’s state-run energy firm YPF has picked Spain’s Gas Natural to supply the bulk of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) requirements through March in a recent tender, traders with knowledge of the matter said.
Operations remained halted for a second day on Wednesday at a remote Repsol Oil and Gas site in the Canadian province of Alberta as regulators investigated the cause of the area’s largest earthquake in more than a year.
Investment bank UBS said on Wednesday it had priced a 4.15 percent placing in Spanish builder and environmental services company Ferrovial at 19.07 euros per share, a 5 percent discount to Wednesday’s closing price. > Asian shares skid as Brent crude plumbs 12-year lows > Wall St resumes selloff; S&P 500 lowest since September > Tokyo’s Nikkei share average closes down 2.68 pct > U.S. bond market rallies as stocks, oil swoon > Oil drop plucks loonie; rupiah slips after Jakarta blasts > Gold edges lower, decline in stock markets limits losses > Copper hits new 6-1/2 year low as oil taints global growth outlook > Brent falls to another 12-year low as Iran supply looms (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)