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MILAN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - European shares are seen opening slighly lower on Thursday, following losses at Wall Street and in Asia overnight, but all the focus will be on European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and the fresh stimulus measures he is expected to unveil later in the day to fight low inflation.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were all down around 0.3 percent.
The ECB is expected to deliver measures that could include a deposit rate cut and changes to its asset-buying programme. It will announce its interest rate decision at 1245 GMT and Draghi will unveil new economic forecasts along with measures not involving rates at a 1330 GMT news conference.
A key European benchmark index closed near three-month highs on Wednesday, with expectations of new ECB stimulus measures providing support.
Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L on Thursday won approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the company’s proposed $70 billion takeover of BG Group Plc BG.L, leaving China as the last regulatory hurdle to the deal.
The bank has shut its renminbi (RMB) solutions group in the United States and Europe, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, as part of a major restructuring that has forced the lender to take an axe to a fast-growing business in the industry.
The bank has agreed a deal to sell its Italian bank branches to CheBanca!, the seven-year-old retail arm of Mediobanca MDBI.MI, it said on Thursday confirming a Reuters report.
The insurer is among the consortia bidding for London City Airport, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The lender is embarking on a major computer systems upgrade that will help it to make greater use of so-called “big data” to provide a detailed picture of how, when and where customers interact with it, the bank’s chief data officer said in an interview.
Mercedes-Benz sales in the United States dropped 11.7 percent in November, due to popular model lines running out and a limited availability of top-selling SUVs, the luxury division’s parent company Daimler said on Wednesday.
The group’s renewable unit holds an investor call from 1600 GMT.
The airline and its main unions have agreed to improve to work on improving trust, cooperation and communication, they said late on Wednesday after a meeting to talk about jobs and future growth prospects to defuse tensions in long-running pay disputes.
Premium unit Audi’s supervisory board due to meet. CEO Rupert Stadler is expected to brief the board on the state of negotiations with U.S. authorities and progress in finding technical fixes for vehicles affected by the emissions scandal.
The French telecoms group said it did not need additional provisions to cover an antitrust case in France after a newspaper reported it faced a fine of more than 500 million euros.
Orange’s Polish unit said it signed an agreement with trade unions for 2016-2017, under which up to 2,050 employees, who have been employed for at least 10 years, may leave through a voluntary departure scheme.
The French advertising agency said it would stremaline its structure into four business divisions and appoint a chief revenue officer to ensure the company delivers on a new customer-oriented strategy.
The European Commission said it had approved Belgian chemical group Solvay’s planned $5.5 billion purchase of Cytec Industries.
Solvay announced a 1.5 billion euro rights issue to help finance the transaction. It will offer 21,175,283 new shares at a subscription price of 70.83 euros per new share, with preference rights for existing shareholders at a ratio of one new share for four rights.
The French telecoms group has agreed to buy out other shareholders in French cloud computing firm Numergy to build up its offering services for companies.
Shareholders in Finland’s Nokia approved the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent during an extraordinary meeting.
A second influential shareholder adviser has told investors in Telecom Italia to reject proposals by top stakeholder Vivendi to allow it representation by enlarging the board.
The company on Wednesday cleared one U.S. regulatory hurdle toward domestic marketing of corn seeds containing a trait that is genetically engineered to resist weed killers including glyphosate.
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A U.S. appeals court refused to reconsider its decision invalidating a Sequenom Inc prenatal DNA test patent, a decision that could put in doubt the validity of a wide range of medical and biotechnology patents.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in June the patent was not eligible for legal protection because it fell under the U.S. Supreme Court’s rule against patenting natural phenomena. That decision upheld a ruling by a lower federal court in California that cleared Roche Holding AG unit Ariosa Diagnostics of infringement.
Spain’s Telefonica on Wednesday lost the bulk of television rights to screen Spanish football matches for the next three seasons, undermining its strategy to capture pay-TV viewers through premium content.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has upheld a protest filed by a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica against a contract awarded by the U.S. Army to Lockheed Martin Corp for system engineering, logistics and training support services
S&P said on Wednesday it had raised its rating on the lender to BB- from B+, saying the planned change to a joint stock company would improve governance.
> Asian stocks fall, dollar lifted after Yellen’s rate hike comments > Wall St ends sharply lower; energy leads decline > Nikkei flat as investors wait on ECB policy decision > Bond yields up on Yellen remarks, private payrolls data > Euro braces for ECB stimulus as dollar rides high after Yellen > Gold slumps to 2010 lows on U.S. rate hike prospects > Copper slips on China demand, dollar headwinds > Crude inches up on report of proposed Saudi oil deal (Reporting by Danilo Masoni)