(Adds futures prices, more company news items)
LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - European equity futures edged lower on Monday, with lingering concerns over Greece’s debt situation offsetting a boost given to Asian equities from China’s latest cut to interest rates.
The Euro STOXX 50 futures fell 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX futures edged down by 0.1 percent while France’s CAC futures fell 0.4 percent.
Greece’s government remains hopeful that a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday will note progress in talks with lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal and pave the way for an easing of Greece’s cash crunch, a government official said on Sunday.
The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers have ruled out clinching a deal to unlock aid for Greece at Monday’s meeting, saying too many issues remain unresolved. Officials have said any statement they make is unlikely to be enough to allow the European Central Bank to raise the limit on short-term Treasury bills that Greek banks can buy, a move that would help avert a Greek national bankruptcy.
“Greece remains a big concern to European investors, with both the countries leaders and its creditors stalling on a deal as neither wants to make the big concessions needed to push a deal through,” said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.
An election defeat for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Sunday may also put pressure on the region’s stock markets.
However, European commodity stocks may get support after China cut interest rates for the third time in six months on Sunday, and analysts predicted policymakers would relax reserve requirements and cut rates again in the coming months.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares rise as China steps up support for economy
> US STOCKS-Stocks leap as Wall Street lauds jobs growth > Nikkei rises after China rate cut; Sharp, Toshiba dive to daily limit lows > TREASURIES-Yields ease on Fed-timing bets, U.S. jobs data > FOREX-Euro slips on Greek woes, rate cut speculation hits kiwi > PRECIOUS-Gold holds firm as US job data eases rate rise fears > METALS-Copper subdued after China rate cut fans demand concerns > Oil steady, little help from Chinese interest rate cut
Europe’s biggest aerospace company said on Sunday it would continue test flights for the A400M military transport plane after the fatal crash of one of the aircraft on a test flight in Spain. The plane crashed outside Seville on Saturday, killing four test crew and prompting country users to ground Europe’s new troop and cargo carrier.
Dutch retailer Ahold and Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize have begun discussions at the highest level on a possible merger, Belgian newspapers reported on Saturday.
Advisory firm ISS has recommended that BMW shareholders vote against the appointment of outgoing chief executive Norbert Reithofer as chairman of the carmaker’s supervisory board, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported.
Tank & Rast, which is 50-percent owned by RREEF, a real estate and infrastructure-focused unit of Deutsche Bank, is going to be sold before the summer break in a potential 3.5 billion euro deal, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Monday, citing financial sources. A public listing of the company is no longer an option, it added.
German trade union Verdi on Saturday called for further strikes next week at Deutsche Post after talks over a new wage agreement broke down.
Italy’s Exor said on Monday it had agreed to sell real estate Cushman & Wakefield to commercial real estate services firm DTZ in a $2 billion deal.
innish home and garden products company Fiskars on Monday said it had agreed to buy WWRD, including tableware brands such as Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, for $437 million to boost growth in the United States.
The drugmaker, which decided last week to retain rather than float off its HIV drugs business, is to collaborate with U.S. scientists in developing a cure for AIDS.
Roche said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its cobas KRAS Mutation Test for diagnostic use.
Britain may begin selling part of the state’s holding in Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss later this year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In an open letter to Sika investors seen by Reuters, Saint-Gobain Chief Executive and Chairman Pierre-Andre de Chalendar called for a dialogue between the two companies.
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) tried to spy on Siemens with the help of German intelligence, Bild am Sonntag reported.
Separately sources told Reuters that Siemens is set to secure unconditional EU approval for its $7.6 billion bid for U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand.
German insurer Talanx posted a 16 percent rise in net profit to 251 million euros ($280 million) in the first quarter, soundly beating expectations despite losses from storms and the crash of the Germanwings flight, aided in part by currency effects. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)