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LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging lower at the start of trading on Monday, while much attention will also focus on the re-opening of the Greek stock market after a five-week shutdown.
Trading on the Athens bourse was suspended in late June as part of capital controls imposed to stem a debilitating outflow of euros that threatened to collapse Greece’s banks and hurl the indebted country out of the euro zone.
Since then, Athens has agreed a framework bailout plan with its European Union partners in exchange for stringent reforms and budget austerity. But implementation of the deal is some way off, keeping alive political and economic stability concerns.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open down by 5-10 points, or 0.1-0.2 percent lower. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were both seen opening down by 4 points, or down by around 0.1 percent. The Greek market is due to re-open around 0730 GMT, with some traders expecting steep losses on the Athens bourse.
Weaker-than-expected Chinese data could also weigh on stock markets, after data showed that China’s factory activity shrank more than initially estimated in July.
However, there were some solid corporate earnings which could support the market, with British bank HSBC reporting higher first half profits. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks near 2015 lows on China economy worry, dollar strong > US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St ends down driven by energy selloff > Nikkei retreats on fresh signs of weakness in China economy > TREASURIES-Prices rally on record low increase in Q2 labor costs > FOREX-Dollar bulls stymied by wage data, PMIs next > PRECIOUS-Gold extends weakness after worst month in 2 years > METALS-Copper slips as China factories shudder > Oil hit multi-month lows on record OPEC output
Iran plans to buy as many as 90 planes per year from Boeing and Airbus to revamp its antiquated fleet once Western sanctions are lifted, its state news agency IRNA quoted a senior aviation official as saying on Sunday.
Areva will seek partnerships with Chinese energy companies that could see them take stakes in the French nuclear reactor maker in an upcoming multi-billion euro capital increase, its chairman told the Journal de Dimanche.
Commerzbank Chief Executive Martin Blessing will be offered a new contract to remain at the bank, a German paper reported in an advance copy of an article to be published on Sunday.
HSBC Holdings reported a 10 percent increase in earnings for the first half of the year, boosted by bumper profits in Hong Kong as the lender considers whether to move its headquarters from London to the Asian hub. HSBC also said it had sold its Brazilian unit to Banco Bradesco SA BBDC4.SA for $5.2 billion.
Heineken, the world’s third largest brewer, reported higher first-half results than markets expected and repeated its full-year forecast of revenue and profit growth, albeit at a slower pace than last year.
Shareholders in Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group are calling on the government to rethink plans to sell down its stake in the lender to ensure taxpayers get the best deal.
A consortium of German premium carmakers has agreed to buy Nokia’s mapping business HERE for an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros ($3.07 billion), in a push to extend the reach of automakers into digital services for connected cars.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a criminal investigation into the British exploration firm Soma Oil and Gas, which has been searching for oil in Somalia.
British mining company Vedanta Resources faces legal action in London’s High Court after a group of Zambian villagers said their water source and farmland was polluted by the firm’s copper mining operations.
Veolia’s first-half 2015 net profit jumped 178 percent to 353 million euros as the weak euro, better performance of energy unit Dalkia, cost cuts and income from new recycling businesses helped the French water and waste group post its sixth consecutive quarter of higher earnings.
German specialty chemicals maker Wacker Chemie on Monday posted a 43 percent rise in second-quarter core earnings, mainly driven by retained income from solar sector customers whose contracts were cancelled.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta