LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - European stocks were expected to make a positive start to the second quarter of the year on Tuesday as expectations of continued economic stimulus from U.S. and Chinese authorities helped key indexes recoup a late selloff on the previous day.
At 0631 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were up between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent.
Persistent weakness in China's manufacturing sector was seen boosting the chances of increased government spending to spur growth. Investors were also reassured by dovish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said an easy monetary policy would need to remain in place for some time.
European indexes were likely to trade in a narrow range ahead of the publication of manufacturing surveys for some key European countries and the euro zone, due out between 0745 GMT and 0830 GMT. U.S manufacturing data is due at 1400 GMT, with all important non-farm payrolls figures due on Friday.
"Despite signs suggesting that central banks are going to be firmly committed to easy monetary policy... traders are still likely to tread cautiously ahead of upcoming data releases," Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a trading note.
The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index hit its highest level since 2008 at 3,185.68 points before succumbing to some quarter-end profit taking to end 0.3 percent lower at 3,161.60 points.
Nicolas Suiffet, a technical analyst at Trading Central, said the trend was still up for the index and momentum, as measured by the index's 14-day Relative Strength Index, remained strong.
"From a chartist point of view, the failure breakout top of the short term trading range at 3,177 yesterday calls for caution," Suiffet said. "However, prices are supported by an internal trend line drawn from August 2013 currently around 2,970.".
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pad95v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/rav46v > Asian shares hit 4-month high on China data, Yellen > Wall St rises on Yellen's view; S&P scores modest Q1 gain > Nikkei choppy as tankan disappoints, utility shares drop > TREASURIES-Long-dated yields edge higher ahead of jobs data > FOREX-Dollar unsettled by dovish Yellen, yen still in doldrums > Gold languishes at 7-week low as fund outflows resume > Copper slips from 3-week peak on sluggish China signals > Brent holds steady below $108 after China data
METSO WEIR GROUP
Engineering company Weir Group is said to be in talks to buy its Finnish rival Metso for more than 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to expand its industrial pumps and valves offering, the Times reported on Tuesday.
French turbine and train maker said on Tuesday it is selling its heat exchange unit for 730 million euros ($1.01 billion) to German private equity group Triton, as part of its 2 billion euro asset disposal programme.
Shares in Veolia Environnement closed 1.24 percent lower on Monday after its second-biggest shareholder, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, said late on Friday it had resigned from the board.
The public commissioner of France's highest administrative court advised it to overturn a government decision to limit a rise in regulated power tariffs to two percent in July 2012, which would mean consumers could face a backdated increase.
Italy's Snam and Belgium's Fluxys have agreed to extend a joint venture to pool gas assets in Europe that could help create a more unified gas market across the continent and make it easier to trade gas.
Pacific Investment Management Co. has been removed as the subadvisor of two bond funds totaling $3.7 billion offered by ING U.S. Investment Management, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC
Germany plans to exempt existing power plants operated by firms making their own electricity from a surcharge to support renewable energy, a draft law seen by Reuters showed on Monday.
Deutsche Bank, the world's largest currency trader, has placed on leave a director of institutional foreign exchange sales as part of an internal investigation into potential exchange rate manipulation, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
VW, DAIMLER, BMW
German car makers are increasingly dependant on China for growth, a study showed on Monday. Last year Volkswagen AG, BMW and Daimler AG together sold about 28 percent of their cars and light commercial vehicles in China, up from 12 percent in 2008, according to a study by consultancy EY
Software AG said it had agreed to sell its SAP consulting business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to its strategic partner, Scheer Group GmbH, but did not disclose financial terms for the deal.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa, Editing by Alistair Smout)