European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, Fed in focus
LONDON Dec 17 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a weaker open on Tuesday, with some caution ahead of a policy meeting at which the U.S. Federal Reserve could decide to trim its stimulus prompting investors to take profits.
A majority of economists expect the Fed to begin reducing its bond buying operations in March, but a recent run of upbeat economic data has steadily shortened the odds on an announcement at this week's two-day meeting concluding on Wednesday - or in January.
At 0735 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent lower.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 1.3 percent at 1,258.31 points on Monday following strong euro zone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data.
Germany's DAX rose 1.7 percent to move the index back towards a record high reached on Dec. 2, helped by data showing the country's private sector expanded for the eighth month in December.
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
RBS has cut itself free from an 8 billion-pound ($13 billion) capital tie to the British government, it said, following recent moves to strengthen its capital base.
The troubled insurer may have to sell its best assets, leaving it concentrated in slow-growing markets such as its British home patch, to raise up to 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) and safeguard its credit ratings.
GlaxoSmithKline will stop paying doctors to promote its products, Chief Executive Andrew Witty said in an interview with the New York Times, in a move that could be a first for a major drug company.
A project to supply European buyers with gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field will cost some $28 billion, partner firm Statoil said on Tuesday.
The company's controlling shareholder Ray Investment is selling a further 7 percent stake in the French electrical equipment supplier, traders said on Tuesday.
The Spanish oil major is continuing talks with Argentina's government to secure more payment guarantees on the bonds to be offered as compensation for YPF ahead of a board meeting to vote on the deal, Expansion reported on Tuesday.
The French state-controlled utility denied that it had been ordered to halt construction of a European Pressurized Reactor in Flamanville and said work was continuing.
BOUYGUES, ORANGE, ILIAD
Bouygues Telecom said it would offer superfast mobile broadband service at no extra charge in some of its low-cost packages in the latest salvo in the French mobile price war.
Eurocopter issued a safety alert to operators of its EC135 helicopters after aircraft from the same fleet as one that crashed into a Scottish pub last month killing 10 people and some in Europe were found with a fuel gauge defect.
Total global commodity assets under management fell to $332 billion in November from $340 billion in October, Barclays Plc's Barclays Capital said on Tuesday.
Deutsche Post has until the end of the week to respond to criticism from Germany's antitrust regulator over its pricing for major customers, a company spokesman said late on Monday.
The global insurance watchdog has launched a consultation on how to set up a new system making key firms hold enough capital to avoid a collapse that would pose a risk to the financial system.
KOENIG & BAUER
The world's second-biggest maker of printing presses announced restructuring plans that could shrink its workforce by almost a quarter as it seeks to return to profit.
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