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LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were expected to fall sharply at the open on Wednesday, tracking a similar drop in Asian equities as a relentless slide in oil prices hit world markets.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 to open down by 110-121 points, or 1.9-2.1 percent lower. Germany’s DAX was seen down by 221-237 points, or 2.3-2.5 percent lower, while France’s CAC was seen down by 96-102 points, or 2.2-2.4 percent lower.
Energy and mining shares could again bear the brunt of a sell-off.
U.S. crude oil prices fell to their lowest level since 2003 after the world’s energy watchdog warned the market could “drown in oversupply”.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index had closed up 1.4 percent on Tuesday, marking a rebound from 13-month lows reached earlier this month.
French nuclear group Areva won several long-term contracts last year from four U.S. utilities for uranium enrichment services worth more than $300 million, the group said on Tuesday.
ASML Holding said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter net profit fell 4.3 percent to 292 million euros ($319.8 million) from a year earlier, but was ahead of analysts’ expectations
Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut beat expectations for its first-quarter sales on Wednesday, with revenue rising more than three times as fast as forecast in a Reuters poll.
The sheer scale of EDF’s 18 billion pound ($25.55 bln) project to build two nuclear reactors at Britain’s Hinkley Point, puts the French utility at risk, the CFE-CGC managers union warned on Tuesday.
High-end watchmakers have signalled a shift in strategy with an expanded range of more affordable products to counter the most severe downturn the industry has faced since the 2008-09 financial crisis, executives at a watch fair in Geneva said.
Randgold Resources has signed three joint venture agreements with junior miners to explore potential gold deposits in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, its chief executive Mark Bristow said on Tuesday.
Vivendi’s investment in Telecom Italia is not a point of entry for French telecoms group Orange into the Italian group, the CEO of the media group said on Tuesday, shooting down talk that it could facilitate a tie-up between the two telecom companies.
Europe’s Industry Commissioner has written to the chief executive of Volkswagen asking for detailed information on cars affected by the emissions scandal and calling for Europeans to be compensated in the same way as U.S. customers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks hit 4-year trough as oil spirals lower > US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends unchanged; more carnage in oil stocks > Nikkei hits 14-1/2 month low on oil rout, stronger yen > TREASURIES-U.S. bond prices slip as stocks eke out gains > FOREX-Dollar retreats as crude oil resumes descent, yen gains > PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher as Asian stocks retreat, oil extends rout > METALS--London copper drifts lower as hopes grow for China stimulus > Oil falls more than 2 pct on surplus worries, as U.S. drops towards $27
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta