(Updates futures prices, adds more company news)
MILAN, March 3 (Reuters) - European shares were seen steadying at the open on Thursday following five straight sessions of gains, after Asia and Wall Street rose overnight, helped by a rally in crude oil prices.
Futures on the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50, Germany’s DAX , France’s CAC and Britain’s FTSE were trading between flat and up 0.1 percent by 0740 GMT.
Asian shares were bound for a third straight session of gains on Thursday as upbeat data on U.S. jobs and a rally in a range of commodities whetted risk appetites globally.
On Wednesday, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.7 percent after a volatile day, helped late in the session by oil prices reversing initial losses which were triggered by a huge build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
German sportswear company Adidas expects sales and net profit to keep rising fast in 2016, helped by aggressive marketing and big events like the European soccer championships.
The Pimco Total Return Fund, one of the world’s largest bond funds, posted net outflows of $600 million in February, according to Pacific Investment Management Co’s website on Wednesday.
Full Q4 results due. The automotive supplier published preliminary figures on Jan. 12, meeting its targets for 2015 sales and adjusted operating profit.
Volkswagen’s former chief executive officer was alerted to problems with U.S. diesel emissions tests in 2014, but the issue “did not initially receive particular attention at the management levels”, the German carmaker said on Wednesday.
Germany’s biggest residential property company stuck with its forecast for a 15 percent rise in profit from operations this year, after acquisitions helped earnings more than double in 2015.
The publisher reported in-line annual core profit as growth in its digital business, helped by acquisitions, compensated declines in its classical print business.
The diversified chemicals maker flagged a decline in 2016 adjusted core earnings amid lower product prices.
The company said it planned to issue up to 1.49 million new shares in a capital increase.
Carsten Kengeter, the chief executive of Deutsche Boerse lauded the benefits for the Frankfurt exchange and its customers on Wednesday of a proposed deal to merge the German exchange operator with the London Stock Exchange.
The investment arm of British insurer Standard life said on Wednesday it would step up its engagement with management at Volkswagen and Royal Dutch Shell over certain concerns it has regarding corporate governance.
Britain’s Co-operative Group has added fuel to the country’s supermarket price war with another wave of cuts. The company, which is the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket chain by sales, said on Wednesday that the price reductions on more than 200 of its own-brand British-sourced meat and poultry products would total 75 million pounds ($105 million).
Sports Direct and Aberdeen Asset Management will drop out of Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 equity index after a slump in their share prices since the start of 2016. Other companies to be relegated from the top British shares index will be diversified engineering company Smiths Group and Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the London Stock Exchange said on Wednesday.
Those four companies will be replaced in the FTSE 100 by gambling company Paddy Power Betfair, supermarket operator WM Morrison, publishing company Informa and private hospital operator Mediclinic International.
BHP BILLITON: Mining company Samarco and its owners, BHP Billiton and Vale SA, reached a deal with the Brazilian government on Wednesday to pay an estimated 20 billion reais ($5.1 billion) in damages over 15 years for a deadly dam spill in November.
Britain’s biggest listed asset manager, on Thursday posted forecast-beating full-year results boosted by strong investor inflows, and unveiled a sweeping boardroom shake-up, with CEO Michael Dobson taking over as chairman.
Indian billionaire Ajay Piramal is said to be considering buying Lafarge’s India business, according to the Economic Times.
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The Swiss insurance company said it has repurchased shares for a total of nearly 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.00 billion) at an average purchase price of 94.03 francs per share.
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The outdoor ad company forecast organic revenue growth of around 9 percent in the first quarter of this year and proposed a 12 percent hike in its dividend on 2015 earnings after full-year organic revenue rose 4.2 percent.
The French advertising group said its U.S. unit Publicis.Sapient had acquired Vertiba, a consulting company providing services based on Salesforce.com cloud computing solutions, for an undisclosed sum.
The chemicals group said it was confident of growing EBITDA in 2016 and proposed raising its dividend after core profit rose 35 percent last year.
The chemicals company said it would propose the renewal of mandate of Thierry Le Henaff as both chairman and chief executive officer at the annual general meeting on June 7.
Bureau Veritas said it partnered with software-maker Dassault Systemes to help marine and offshore companies becoming more digital.
The French maker of machinery for the construction, agricultural and industrial sectors said it generated net income of 32 million euros in 2015, versus 30 million a year earlier.
The French insurance company said it generated a net income of 42.1 million euros in 2015, up 14.8 percent from a year earlier, and total consolidated revenue of 798 million euros, up 4.1 percent on a reported basis.
Gamesa has won a turnkey contract to build and maintain for 15 years a 70 MW wind farm in Uruguay.
The operator of a 41-mile Texas toll road connecting San Antonio to Austin, jointly owned by the Cintra unit of Spain’s Ferrovial and Zachry American Infrastructure of San Antonio, has filed for bankruptcy.
Abengoa Bioenergy US Holding LLC, a unit of Spanish conglomerate Abengoa, received interim financing to pay wages and keep the lights on while it tries to reorganize under Chapter 11, according to a court ruling on Wednesday.
Separately, Moody’s downgrades Abengoa to Ca, Outlook “negative”
CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd has offered concessions in a bid to secure EU antitrust approval for its proposed 10.3-billion-pound bid for Telefonica’s British mobile unit, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
Separately, Telefonica gave the details of a planned 5-year, 600 million euro bond.
FIAT CHRYSLER, CIR, L‘ESPRESSO, EXOR
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is set to quit the publishing business to focus more on car making after agreeing to fold its media unit into L‘Espresso group to create a leading Italian publishing house.
The main shareholder of Banca Carige has proposed Guido Bastianini as chief executive of the bank, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.
Board meeting on FY results (preliminary on Feb. 11).
The two banks have submitted a revised merger proposal to the European Central Bank to address its requests, according to Corriere della Sera. The new proposal includes a leaner board of directors from the 19-member board initially planned and a plan to whittle down non performing loans in 24-36 months, it said.
A consortium comprising Cellnex and F2i is expected to submit a new, improved proposal to buy up to 85 percent of Inwit on March 11, so that Telecom Italia can discuss it at a March 17 board meeting, La Repubblica said. > Asia shares scale 2-month peak, commodities on the mend > Wall St rises late, led by energy and bank shares > Nikkei rises to 3-1/2 week high on heartier risk appetite > U.S. bond yields climb on subsiding concerns about growth > Dollar gains with Friday’s US jobs data in focus > Gold slips as risk appetite back in vogue, ETF inflows support > London copper hits fresh three-month high as risk appetite holds > Oil prices edge up as confidence rises that market has bottomed (Reporting by Danilo Masoni)