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LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a steady open on Tuesday after gains in the previous session, with downbeat Chinese manufacturing data raising expectations of some further stimulus measures in the country.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector shrank more sharply than expected in February, prompting smaller companies to shed workers at the fastest pace in seven years.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX , France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were flat to 0.3 percent lower.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.7 percent higher in the previous session, but registered its third straight month of losses due to investor concerns over the global growth outlook.
The bank reported a 2 percent fall in full-year adjusted pre-tax profit and unveiled plans to simplify its UK & international operations to boost returns and cut costs, primarily by exiting its historic African business.
Miner and commodity trader Glencore reported $5.8 billion of charges on Tuesday, mostly due to impairments following a slide in commodity prices, and a 32 percent fall in 2015 core profit.
French media group Vivendi raised its offer for mobile phone games company Gameloft on Monday and also declared that it had further raised its stake in Gameloft's sister video games company Ubisoft.
Exchange and clearing house operator Intercontinental Exchange Inc is planning a counter bid for London Stock Exchange Inc, in an attempt to scuttle a merger with Deutsche Boerse AG, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
The Swiss insurer reported 2015 full-year net profit of 878 million Swiss francs ($880.38 million) and proposed a dividend of 8.50 Swiss francs per share for 2015, above analysts' estimates for 8 francs in a Reuters poll. The average poll estimate for net profit was for 835 million francs. The company also reiterated its 2018 targets.
Airbus is examining with some airlines whether there is enough demand for a new and larger version of its A350 passenger jet and expects to update the industry at the Farnborough Airshow in July, sales chief John Leahy said on Monday.
Toyota Motor Corp and BMW are still keen to develop a common sportscar architecture but have yet to decide on a timeline for the project, a senior executive at the Japanese carmaker said on Monday.
Also, Volkswagen is confident it may reach an agreement with U.S. regulators on a technical fix for diesel cars, vehicle buybacks and fines, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said on Monday.
Belgian specialty materials group Umicore indirectly infringed two patents on lithium-ion battery components, a U.S. trade judge ruled on Monday in a case brought by German chemicals firm BASF.
The co-chairman of the German commission that is looking at how to safeguard funds to pay for the country's nuclear exit does not want a cap on the utilities' liabilities, he told German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau.
The steel distributor said it expected significantly higher core profit this year and a return to a small net profit thanks to a more favourable market environment and benefits from a restructuring.
Also, investor Friedhelm Loh is eyeing a seat on the supervisory board as of the next annual shareholders meeting on May 13, the company said.
French DIY store chain Mr Bricolage said on Monday it named former Kingfisher executive Christophe Mistou as its new CEO.
Bureau Veritas acquires HCD group, specializing in building compliance, in the United Kingdom.
Spain's Abengoa, on the brink of becoming the country's largest-ever bankruptcy, said on Monday its debt had risen by 492 million euros ($535.39 million) in 2015's fourth quarter as it posted a full-year net loss of 1.2 billion euros.
The food giant is pushing ahead with plans to invest 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($127.71 million) in the northern African country in the next few years, despite a foreign exchange shortage that has made it harder to finance imports and repatriate profit.
The French drug company upgraded its its sales targets and confirmed its core operating margin objective for 2020 in its 2015 earnings release.
It also announced an exclusive licencing agreement with Exelixis to commercialize and develop cancer therapy cabozantinib in regions outside the United States, Canada and Japan.
Reporting by Atul Prakash