European Factors to Watch-Futures rise, Vodafone and Liberty seal deal
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LONDON Feb 16 (Reuters) - European equity futures rose on Tuesday, tracking gains in Asian equities while telecoms stocks could again come into focus after a deal between British phone network operator Vodafone Plc and John Malone's cable company Liberty Global Plc.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, German DAX and French CAC were all up by 0.4 percent, while futures on Britain's FTSE rose by a more modest 0.2 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index had climbed sharply for the second consecutive session on Monday, closing up 2.9 percent as banking and telecoms stocks rose.
Telecoms stocks could again come into focus after British phone network operator Vodafone Plc and John Malone's cable company Liberty Global Plc agreed late on Monday to combine their operations in the Netherlands for a better footing in the local market.
France's biggest telecoms operator Orange is also in talks over Bouygues Telecom, and Orange said on Tuesday that those talks were still ongoing and would "require at least several weeks before any decision is taken".
Traders said European equities had been further supported by European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi reiterating on Monday that the ECB was ready to act in March if inflation expectations remain weak.
According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, 52 percent of the companies on the European STOXX 600 index to have reported fourth-quarter results so far have met or beaten expectations, while