LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open mixed on Friday after a top index hit a three month high in the previous session, with focus on speeches by several European and U.S. central bankers.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s and Britain’s FTSE 100 were between 0.1 percent lower to 0.1 percent higher.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 hit its highest level since August 19 on Thursday, before easing back to close 0.4 percent higher.
Several officials from the European Central Bank, including ECB President Mario Draghi, are due to give speeches on Friday, while officials from the U.S. Federal Reserve are also speaking.
“Traders will be eager to dissect key speeches from Draghi and the Fed later today,” Jonathan Sudaria, trader at London Capital Group, said in a note.
“Although policy is diverging between the ECB and the Fed, traders will looking to ascertain how big any future stimulus plans will be from the ECB whilst (hopefully) finding out how slow and drawn out the Fed’s tightening plans are.”
While the earnings calendar was thin on Friday, there were further developments in the Volkswagen scandal, as sources said U.S. authorities were investigating German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH over its role in VW’s massive scheme to cheat U.S. emission standards.
In other company news, airline Air France said it had experienced some reduction in traffic following last Friday’s Paris attacks, but it was too early to say how severe the impact on bookings will be.
The carmaker is continuing discussions with BAIC Group about allowing the Chinese company to take a stake in the Germany automaker, Daimler’s China chief, Hubertus Troska, said on Friday.
The chipmaker has expressed interest in investing in Japanese chip firm Renesas Electronics Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Supervisory board meeting due to approve spending plans on plants, equipment and technology for coming years.
Separately, deadline for Volkswagen to submit to U.S. environmental regulators a plan to fix nearly 500,000 diesel cars that violate pollution emission rules.
Volkswagen faced more pressure from officials in Washington and California to buy back older diesel cars.
German lawyers are collecting the names of potential clients in preparation for a possible class action suit against VW, which would have to be filed outside of Germany, daily Handelsblatt reported on Friday.
U.S. authorities are investigating the auto supplier over its role in Volkswagen’s massive scheme to cheat U.S. emission standards, according to people familiar with the matter.
A group of Italian and foreign funds said on Thursday Vivendi’s proposal for additional members on the board of Telecom Italia raised governance concerns and questions about its intentions for the Italian phone group.
Airbus believes introducing a sales-boosting upgrade to its A380 aircraft in 2022 may be too early, Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said at an industry gathering in New York on Thursday.
Chris Viehbacher, ousted last year after six years as CEO of French drugmaker Sanofi SASY.PA, is settling into a new job that involves picking promising experimental drugs before they have been tested in human trials.
Air France has experienced some reduction in traffic following last Friday’s Paris attacks, but it is too early to say how severe the impact on bookings will be, a company source said on Thursday.
Subsidiary Eurovia won two contracts to design and build motorways in Poland. The contracts are worth a total of 120 million euros.
French banking group BNP Paribas will double its investment in renewable energy projects to 15 billion euros ($16.07 billion) by 2020 from 6.9 billion euros and will no longer finance coal extraction projects, it said on Thursday.
John Lewis , Britain’s biggest department store group, said on Friday its sales rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in the week to Nov. 14, delivering its first 100 million pound ($153 million) week of the festive trading season.
Chile’s copper miner Antofagasta Minerals, which trimmed its 2015 output target to 635,000 tonnes, is likely to produce about 3 percent more metal in 2016 due to a new mine and improvements at existing mines, its chief executive officer said on Friday.
Appunti and Pentavest, two investors in the Italian notebook maker, are selling 7.07 percent in the company through an accelerated bookbuilding, according to bookrunner Banca IMI.
The energy group said it had launched the sale of its remaining 4 percent stake in Galp.
The company said it had signed a contract with Pou Sheng International for exclusive distribution of Geox adult footwear collections in China.
Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the engineer by one notch to B3, citing concerns about its liquidity.
Private equity firm CVC is selling a 6.3 percent stake in the toll road firm, Merrill Lynch said on Thursday after market close.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares cling to gains, commodities hit > US STOCKS-Wall St edges down; healthcare sinks and Intel climbs > Nikkei slips as yen strengthens against the dollar > TREASURIES-Longer-dated issues gain as Dec. rate hike takes shape > FOREX-Dollar nurses losses against yen and euro, kiwi extends gains > PRECIOUS-Gold set to end week near 5-year lows as dollar drags > METALS-London nickel falls to 2003 low as China steel founders > Oil up a fraction but near three-month lows on surplus supply
Reporting by Alistair Smout