LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - A glimmer of hope for some kind of progress over Greece’s debt crisis sent European equity futures higher on Monday, with new proposals from Athens over the weekend already buoying Asian shares as well as the euro.
EuroStoxx 50 futures were up 2.7 percent at 0645 GMT, with French equity futures up 2.8 percent and German futures up 2.4 percent. UK FTSE futures lagged slightly, rising 0.9 percent.
“European equities are set to get a pop higher on the open as traders cautiously welcome developments in Greece,” Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a note.
Expectations of more corporate deal-making in the telecoms sector were also likely to brew, with French operator Numericable-SFR announcing it had made an offer for rival Bouygues Telecom ; Bouygues shares were expected to jump at least 5 percent at the open. UK media group Sky was also seen rising on a UK newspaper report talking up takeover approaches.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index is down 7.5 percent since hitting 15-year highs earlier this year, with fears over Athens and expectations of a U.S. interest-rate hike slightly dampening the enthusiasm that greeted the European Central Bank’s launch of a bond-buying scheme to lift economic growth.
“(Monday) promises to be a crazy trading session, although it’s also interesting to see that no-one is really buying volatility today,” said IG strategist Chris Weston. “From this point of view things are quite sanguine.”
71 percent of all open trading positions held by IG clients are bets the German DAX index will rise, said Weston.
European telecom group Altice confirmed it has made an offer to acquire France’s Bouygues Telecom through its subsidiary Numericable-SFR.
French media group Vivendi is expected to announce next week it is raising its stake in Telecom Italia to 14.9 percent and will likely get two board seats, according to a source close to the situation.
French oil major Total had to suspend the restart of its La Mede refinery near Marseille late on Friday because of striking workers from the CGT union, a company spokesman said.
A German cabin crew union on Saturday said it would not resume talks with Lufthansa after mediation failed in a dispute over pay and pensions, adding it would give an update on its next steps on June 22.
The carmaker expects “limited growth” in the United States over the next two years and will focus on defending the market share it has, the top executive for the region told Reuters, suggesting VW will fall short of an ambitious 2018 sales target.
Bank Linth LLB AG LINN.S and Bank Sparhafen Zurich AG will pay penalties to the United States in deals to avoid criminal charges for helping Americans avoid taxes, joining nearly a dozen other Swiss banks that have done the same.
Canadian investment firm Borealis Infrastructure is considering a 5 billion pound ($8 billion) bid for Severn Trent SVT.L, the Sunday Times reported, two years after the British water utility rejected its previous approach.
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia cheers Greece’s 11th-hour proposals to avert default > US STOCKS-Wall St falls as Greek deadline looms; indexes up for week > Nikkei rises after Greece offers new proposals to avert default > TREASURIES-Yields fall as Greece nears debt deadline > FOREX-Euro rises as Greece offers new proposals to avert default > PRECIOUS-Gold hovers near $1,200, Greece talks in focus > METALS-London copper edges up from 3-month low as Greece, China holiday thins trade > Oil prices unchanged as worries ease over Greek debt
Reporting by Lionel Laurent