(Adds futures prices, company news items)
LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European equity futures fell on Friday, tracking a drop in Asian and U.S. equity markets which settled back after a surge higher in the previous session.
Futures on the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were all down by between 0.5-0.8 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index had closed up 1.3 percent on Thursday as investors took the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate rise and the prospect of further tightening as a sign of confidence in the world’s biggest economy.
However, weak oil and metals prices have put pressure on stock markets in spite of the Fed’s decision to raise rates.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has agreed to buy rival brewer SABMiller, plans to contact potential bidders for SABMiller’s Grolsch and Peroni beers on Friday and wrap up deals in less than three months, sources close to the process said.
French nuclear group Areva revised its 2015 target for net cashflow from operating activities on Thursday, to about minus 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) compared to an initial forecast of minus 1.7 billion to minus 1.3 billion euros.
Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings and Julius Baer are seen as potential bidders for Barclays Asian private wealth business, valued at about $600 million, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Shares in French retailer Casino fell more than 10 percent on Thursday after research firm Muddy Waters, founded by short-seller Carson Block, said it was one of the “most overvalued and misunderstood” companies it had ever come across. Casino said the report contained “grossly erroneous allegations” that the group would answer in detail.
British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline said it would buy HIV drugs at different stages of development from U.S. rival Bristol-Myers Squibb in a deal which would boost its ViiV Healthcare unit.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Thursday called for tougher regulation of the Dubai crude benchmark, the Middle East’s most important oil-pricing mechanism, after record trade volumes skewed prices.
Shares of Standard Chartered (StanChart) were upgraded by broker CLSA on expectations the UK bank’s “challenging” recovery could lead to a takeover by a white knight.
Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti does not rule out investing in Telecom Italia if talks between the latter and CDP-controlled firm Metroweb over joining forces to build an ultrafast nationwide fibre optic network succeeds, its chairman said.
Volkswagen of America said on Thursday it is creating an independent claims program for the owners of nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles that emit up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.
Zurich Insurance Group AG is using up a portion of its $3 billion excess cash pile to buy an agricultural crop insurer from Wells Fargo & Co in the United States, the Swiss company said on Friday.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asia stocks down, Japan gives up brief gains after BOJ stimulus > US STOCKS-Wall St falls as growth fears resurface after three-day rally > TREASURIES-Prices on long-dated bonds up, significant bull-flattening > Dollar slips vs yen after BOJ stimulus disappoints > Gold holds losses from biggest dip in 5 months after Fed rate hike > Copper eyes biggest weekly drop in one month > Oil heads for third weekly loss after new signs of inventory building
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta