LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - European equities were expected to open higher on Friday as a rise in prices of crude oil and metals was seen supporting resource-related stocks, although a pan-European index was on track for its fourth straight week of losses.
Oil prices advanced, lifted by firm economic indicators from the United States and Germany which could support fuel demand, but analysts warned that crude markets were threatened by another downturn because of ongoing oversupply.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were 0.2 to 0.5 percent higher.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.8 percent lower on Thursday after hitting a one-month low earlier in the session. The index, down about 10 percent so far this year, remained on track for its fourth straight week of losses.
On the macroeconomic front, German exports bounced back, rising more than expected in February, in a sign that foreign demand for goods from Europe’s biggest economy is picking up again.
Swedish real estate firm Castellum is nearing a deal to buy Norrporten and its roughly 25 billion crowns ($3.1 billion) property portfolio, the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported on Friday, citing sources.
Italian broadcaster Mediaset has called a board meeting for Friday, but there was no indication yet on whether a potential deal with French media group Vivendi was on the agenda.
The French state has increased its voting rights in utility EDF and energy company Engie, French market regulator AMF said in a statement on Thursday.
Separately, a group of some 100 EDF engineers and managers in its nuclear business said they were convinced the French utility could build the British Hinkley Point nuclear project on time.
Tesco is expected to say its recovery, though still in its early stages, is gaining momentum when the supermarket operator reports annual results next week.
Pacific Investment Management Co’s Total Return fund posted cash withdrawals of about $900 million in March, leaving the once-world’s largest bond fund with assets of $88 billion.
The company has the resources to increase cash flow and investments without turning to the market for a capital increase, CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine of top shareholder Vivendi said in a newspaper interview.
Regulators have given Repsol Oil and Gas Canada the green light to resume hydraulic fracking at a remote well in Alberta nearly three months after the region was rocked by an earthquake linked to the fracking, the company said on Thursday.
The Spanish market watchdog on Thursday said it had opened proceedings against Santander, BBVA, Sabadell and Caixabank for possible anti-competitive practices related to derivative contracts to cover the risk of syndicated loans.
Separately, a Spanish court ruled on Thursday that the country’s banks including leaders Banco Santander and Caixabank can no longer sell mortgages with so-called floor clauses.
Sabadell will now not face a hefty payment towards bail for eight former executives of now defunct bank CAM after a judge reduced the amount to a fraction of the 1.6 billion euros originally ordered.
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Reporting by Atul Prakash)