(Updates futures prices, adds company news)
MILAN, Jan 28 (Reuters) - European shares were seen opening flat to lower on Thursday after a choppy session in Asia and losses on Wall Street, with some traders saying the Federal Reserve was less dovish than expected following its anticipated decision to leave rates unchanged.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were all down by between 0.05 percent and 0.6 percent by 0747 GMT.
On Wednesday European shares recovered to finish slightly higher as a late surge in oil prices helped offset pressure on the broader market from a spate of weak earnings updates. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.4 percent at 1,340.76 points.
But oil prices fell back in Asian trading on Thursday after Russia held out the possibility of cooperating with OPEC to control global oversupply.
Shares in Roche could be under pressure after the Swiss drugmaker missed analyst expectations, while Salzgitter could find support after the German steelmaker returned to profit after three years of losses.
Deutsche Bank could also be in focus after posting a quarterly pretax loss of 1.15 billion euros in its investment bank as revenues in its cash cow bond trading activities slumped and litigation costs weighed on earnings.
The drugmaker missed analyst expectations by posting 2015 core net income of 11.84 billion Swiss francs. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected full-year net income of 12.2 billion francs, down about 1 percent from 2014 when the company booked gains from a disposal. It proposed raising its dividend to 8.10 francs from 8.00.
Its shares were indicated down 1.2 percent.
Deutsche Bank posted a pretax loss of 1.15 billion euros in its investment bank in the fourth quarter as revenues in its cash cow bond trading activities slumped and litigation costs weighed on earnings.
Separately, Bloomberg reported that Deutsche Bank planned ot cut about half its employees in Brazil as it moves trading elsewhere.
German steelmaker Salzgitter said 2015 pretax profit likely increased to 12 million euros ($13 million), based on preliminary results, citing a positive contribution from its stake in copper smelter Aurubis.
German prosecutors in Wuppertal have obtained evidence showing 129 banks used “cum/ex” dividend stock trading products that could be used to help clients benefit taxwise, Handelsblatt reported. It said the German government could demand 700 million euros ($762 million) in back taxes based on the data.
Mercedes-Benz and Opel due to be heard by a French panel looking into the industry in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
The logistics group plans to start delivering parcels in Thailand to take advantage of growing e-commerce there, in its first move into the parcel delivery market in southeast Asia, manager Thomas Kipp told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Arndt Neuhaus, the head of the German utility’s main domestic market division, will leave the group amid a structural overhaul that RWE is undergoing in response to low wholesale energy prices, a person familiar with the matter said.
Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger told Handelsblatt the group’s materials business, which includes its steel operations, will need to recover significantly in order for Thyssenkrupp to reach its full-year targets.
The German state of Lower Saxony’s Premier Stephan Weil rejects speculation about ob cuts at Volkswagen, Nordwest-Zeitung reported. “There is nothing to it,” he said.
Brazilian miner Samarco Mineracao SA, in which BHP Billiton owns a 50 percent stake, said on Wednesday it evacuated some workers after rain caused a mudslide at the site where an iron ore tailings damn burst in November.
Airbus planemaking unit Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said he had held talks this month in Tehran with government and Iran Air officials that could lead to the rapid sale of aircraft.
French state-controlled utility EDF said its board had agreed to buy the reactor business of Areva based on a value of 2.5 billion euros, but that this amount could be revised upwards or downwards.
French nuclear group Areva said it plans a 5 billion euro capital increase to restore its finances and said it expects the planned takeover of its reactor arm by EDF to be finalised in 2017.
The French real estate developer said its main shareholder planned to cut its stake in the company to less than 50 percent. The company also said it planned an exceptional dividend, including an interim dividend of 1.85 euros per share once the share sale was finished.
Standard & Poor’s said it revised its outlook on French telecoms company Orange to stable on improved operating trends and affirmed its ‘BBB+’ rating.
French telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel’s NJJ Capital has acquired a minority stake in Alliance Miniere Responsable (AMR), a Paris-based company developing bauxite reserves in Guinea, AMR said.
The engineering and consulting firm said it was “very well positioned” to achieve its 2020 strategic plan goals after 2015 revenue rose 10.7 percent to 1.945 billion euros.
Gamesa will supply 52 MW to ScottishPower Renewables, Iberdrola’s UK subsidiary, for two developments in Scotland.
The oil company announced on Wednesday after market close a 2.9 billion euro writedown on its 2015 results due to weak oil and gas prices, pushing it into a loss for the year.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim made a 0.8 euro per share bid for the shares in Realia Business, partly owned by builder FCC, it does not already own.
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA, UBI BANCA, BANCO POPOLARE, POPOLARE DI MILANO
Italian authorities seeking to strengthen Monte dei Paschi di Siena are exploring a merger with UBI and Banca Popolare di Milano to create a national banking champion, sources close to the matter said.
Monte Paschi holds a board meeting on Thursday on preliminary 2015 results.
Fiat Chrysler CFO Richard Palmer said on Wednesday he saw capex at 9.5-10 billion euros in 2017 and 2018 versus 8.5-9 billion euros forecast for 2016.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to stop building its own small and medium-sized cars in the United States, and turn more capital and capacity toward trucks and sport utility vehicles, the automaker’s chief executive said.
Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has already achieved the near-impossible, turning around Chrysler, cutting debt and spinning off Ferrari at a luxury valuation.
The insurer said on Wednesday CEO Greco’s decision to step down was not related to any criticism or conflict with the shareholders. Greco says 2015 results will be good, on track to meet 2018 targets.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asia stocks find support, oil still unstable > Wall Street sinks after Fed fails to impress > Tokyo’s Nikkei share average closes down 0.71 pct > Yields fall, curve steepens on dovish Fed statement > Dollar handles Fed with poise; kiwi ruffled by RBNZ > Gold slips from 12-week high on less dovish Fed > London copper slips on worries over future Fed hikes > Oil falls back after jumping on hopes of Russia, OPEC cooperation (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Atul Prakash)