* Updates futures prices, adds company news items
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - European equity futures rose on Monday, buoyed by gains in most Asian markets although further signs of economic weakness in China and a fall in oil prices were set to keep markets under pressure.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were all up by 0.1-0.5 percent.
Asian stocks started a new month on a cautious note on Monday, with the Bank of Japan’s surprise policy easing sparking some buying, although Chinese shares fell.
Chinese shares stumbled lower on Monday after an official measure of activity in the giant factory sector fell to its lowest since mid-2012, offering no respite from the economic drift that has dogged markets for months.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 2.3 percent on Friday but fell by some 6 percent over the course of January - its worst monthly drop at the start of a year since 2008.
The banking sector could be in focus after Barclays and Credit Suisse settled U.S. federal and state charges that they misled investors in their dark pools, while Banco Popolare said on Saturday it expected to agree a merger with Banca Popolare di Milano within a month.
Barclays and Credit Suisse have settled federal and state charges that they misled investors in their dark pools, with Barclays admitting it broke the law and agreeing to pay $70 million, federal and New York state officials said on Sunday.
Banco Popolare said on Saturday it expected to agree a merger with Banca Popolare di Milano within a month, signalling the start of a long awaited consolidation of Italy’s fragmented banking sector.
Spain’s state-controlled lender Bankia said on Monday net profit for 2015 rose nearly 40 percent from a year ago to 1.04 billion euros ($1.13 billion), in spite of legal charges linked to its controversial listing over four years ago.
Credit Suisse looks set to post its first full-year loss since 2008 this week, with a write-down at its investment bank adding to pressure on Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam to show his turn-around plan is achievable.
Delta Lloyd, the Dutch insurer that is planning a 1 billion euro ($1.09 billion) rights issue to shore up its solvency, on Monday said it intends to pay a 130 million euro cash dividend over 2016.
Europe’s largest lender, HSBC, is imposing a hiring and pay freeze across the bank globally in 2016, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Net profit at Swiss bank Julius Baer under IFRS accounting standards fell by two-thirds in 2015, largely due to provisions for penalties in a U.S. probe into tax evasion by American clients, it said on Monday.
Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket operator Morrisons on Sunday said it was cutting the price of more than 1,000 products, with an average drop of 19 percent across fruit and vegetable lines.
Finland’s Nokia on Monday settled its patent dispute with Korea’s Samsung, saying the arbitration verdict will boost its patent sales by hundreds of millions of euros.
British telecoms regulator Ofcom has urged Brussels to block the merger of O2 UK and Three, which it fears could inflate mobile phone bills in the UK, the Financial Times reported.
Renault plans to put China at the centre of its strategic plan for 2017-2022, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Monday at the inauguration of the firm’s first assembly plant in Wuhan, central China.
Ryanair on Monday reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast after higher passenger numbers offset lower fares and said it would return 800 million euros ($867 million) to shareholders through a share buyback.
Volkswagen is not under pressure to sell its trucks business to raise cash as it faces billions of euros in costs after admitting to rigging emissions tests, management board member Andreas Renschler told a German newspaper. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks edge up after Japan policy boost; debt shines > US STOCKS-Wall Street surges at end of awful January > Tokyo’s Nikkei share average rises 2.07 pct > TREASURIES-Yields fall after Japan unveils negative interest rates > FOREX-Yen chilled by sub-zero rates for now, speculation ECB may ease subdues euro > PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains after best month in a year > METALS-London copper falls as China factory activity shrinks > Oil prices slip on weak Asian data, fading prospect of output cut (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)