Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to fall; GDF-Suez eyed

Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:32am EDT

PARIS, June 25 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling on Wednesday,
tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia as mounting worries over violence in
Iraq prompted investors to cash in recent lofty gains.
    At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.4-0.7
percent.
    In Iraq on Tuesday, security forces fought Sunni armed factions for control
of the country's biggest oil refinery and militants launched an attack on one of
its largest air bases less than 100 km from the capital. 
    Shares in French utility GDF Suez will be in focus after the French
government said it was selling a 3.1 percent stake in the firm to finance the
acquisition of a state participation in engineering group Alstom.
 
    According to the terms of the placement, the shares will be sold overnight
in a price range of 20.18 to 20.81 euros, which represents a maximum discount of
3 percent on Tuesday's closing price. Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,
Societe Generale and Goldman Sachs are joint book runners.
    Dutch conglomerate Philips and German tech firm Infineon
Technologies AG will also be in the spotlight after sources told
Reuters EU regulators are poised to fine the two companies along with Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd in the coming weeks for fixing prices of chips
used in mobile SIM cards.
    French bank BNP Paribas will be in the spotlight again after
sources said the lender is relocating its U.S. sanctions compliance operations
to New York from Paris, ahead of a nearly $9 billion settlement it is expected
to reach with U.S. authorities over violations of sanctions on Sudan and other
countries. 
    
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0630 GMT: 
                                         LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             1,949.98  -0.64 %   -12.63
 NIKKEI                              15266.61  -0.71 %  -109.63
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       486.97   -0.4 %    -1.98
 EUR/USD                               1.3608   0.02 %   0.0003
 USD/JPY                               101.89  -0.08 %  -0.0800
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.583       --     0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.311       --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,313.70   -0.3 %   -$3.90
 US CRUDE                             $106.67    0.6 %     0.64
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES WITHER AS WALL STREET PULLS BACK 
  > US STOCKS-WALL ST RETREATS ON IRAQ WORRIES AS DATA BOOST FADES 
  > NIKKEI FALLS ON WEAK U.S. SHARES; ABE PLAN GETS MUTED REACTION 
  > FOREX-POUND SAGS AFTER LESS HAWKISH BOE, G3 CURRENCIES ADRIFT 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD FALLS FROM 2-MONTH HIGH, PHYSICAL BUYING LAGS 
  > METALS-LONDON COPPER HOVERS NEAR 3-WK PEAK, SUPPLY CRUNCH SUPPORTS 
  > BRENT CRUDE HOLDS ABOVE $114 ON IRAQ CONFLICT 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    GDF SUEZ 
    France has agreed to sell a 3.1 percent stake in gas utility GDF Suez and
could sell as much as 3.6 percent in order to finance the acquisition of a state
participation in engineering group Alstom ALSO.PA, the government said on
Tuesday. 
    
    PHILIPS, INFINEON 
    EU regulators are poised to fine Philips, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
 and Infineon Technologies AG in the coming weeks for
fixing prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, two people familiar with the
case said on Tuesday. 
    
    FCC 
    U.S. billionaire George Soros, who has already bought shares in Spanish
construction group FCC, has offered 1.5 billion euros to invest in a capital
hike of the group and help refinance the debt of its controlling shareholder
B-1998, online newspaper El Confidencial reported on Wednesday, without citing
sources. 
    
    SHIRE 
    The drugmaker, which is seeking to defend itself after receiving a $46
billion approach from U.S. group AbbVie, said on Wednesday a U.S. court
had endorsed its patents on top-selling hyperactivity drug Vyvanse.
 
    
    ACS, CORPORACION FINANCIERA ALBA 
    Spanish investment group Corporacion Financiera Alba said late on Tuesday it
had sold a 3.7 pct stake in construction and services group ACS for around 398
million euros ($541 million), cutting its holding to 11.3 percent and making it
the second biggest shareholder in the group. 
        
    STERIA 
    IT services group Steria said Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL), its
joint venture with the UK Cabinet Office, has been selected by the Ministry of
Justice and the Home Office as preferred framework supplier for the provision of
their shared service. 
    
    LAGARDERE 
    Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group said it would buy Perseus Books Group,
keeping the books business of the sixth-largest U.S. publisher and selling the
client services businesses to Ingram Content Group. 
    
    BASF 
    Chemicals giant BASF criticised moves to amend Germany's system of energy
surcharges for industrial companies saying it sends a "disastrous signal from an
industrial policy perspective, which casts doubt on Germany as an investment
location." 
    
    DEUTSCHE TELEKOM 
    Deutsche Telekom and its Slovak Telekom unit are likely to be fined by EU
antitrust regulators for squeezing out competitors by charging unfair wholesale
prices in Slovakia, two people with knowledge of the matter said. 
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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