European Factors to Watch-Shares set for steady open, BNP seen up

Tue Jul 1, 2014 2:46am EDT

(Adds futures prices, trader comment)

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen steady at the open on Tuesday, with shares in BNP Paribas in focus after the French bank agreed to pay a fine of around $9 billion in a U.S. sanctions case.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract was flat by 0615 GMT. Germany's DAX futures contract was also flat while France's CAC futures contract also rose 0.2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged down by 0.1 percent to 1,370.60 points on Monday, although the index still recorded a fourth straight quarter of gains and many analysts said the market's longer-term outlook remained positive, due to the prospect of economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.

"I think people will still buy the market on the dip," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.

Late on Monday, BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve allegations it violated U.S. sanctions laws and enabled the activities of terrorists and human rights abusers in Sudan and elsewhere.

In an unprecedented move, regulators also banned BNP for a year from conducting certain U.S. dollar transactions, a critical part of the bank's international business.

Analysts at Nomura wrote in a research note that they expected "some recovery in performance" now that BNP Paribas had settled the situation with U.S. authorities, and traders saw BNP Paribas' shares opening up by 2-3 percent.

Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)

Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN SHARES STAY NEAR HIGHS, DOLLAR SOFT > US STOCKS-S&P 500, NASDAQ SCORE 6TH STRAIGHT QUARTER OF GAIN > NIKKEI GAINS AFTER SHRUGGING OFF BOJ TANKAN; CHINA PMI LIFTS MOOD > TREASURIES-U.S. BOND PRICES RISE, SET FOR GAINS IN FIRST HALF OF YEAR > FOREX-DOLLAR STARTS NEW QUARTER ON THE BACKFOOT > PRECIOUS-GOLD HITS 3-MONTH HIGH ON SOFTER DOLLAR, IRAQ VIOLENCE > METALS-LME COPPER HITS NEAR 4-MONTH PEAK ON TIGHT SUPPLY > BRENT HOLDS ABOVE $112 AS CHINA DATA DRAWS FOCUS BACK TO DEMAND

COMPANY NEWS:

BNP PARIBAS :

French bank BNP Paribas on Monday pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve allegations it violated U.S. sanctions laws and enabled the activities of terrorists and humans rights abusers in Sudan and elsewhere.

BMW :

Germany's BMW AG will unveil this week plans to build a new factory in Mexico, a government official said, as the company seeks to meet growing demand for premium cars.

BILFINGER :

German engineering and services company Bilfinger SE slashed its 2014 outlook on Monday, blaming fallout from Germany's transition to renewable energy for its woes.

CLUB MED :

Club Mediterranee's top shareholder, Andrea Bonomi, on Monday outbid French private equity firm Ardian and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International with an offer for the resort operator, valuing it at 790 million euros ($1.1 billion).

CHRYSLER :

Chrysler will sell a rebadged Mitsubishi Motors Corp compact sedan in Mexico, in a five-year deal that will help the Japanese automaker maintain production levels at its hard-hit Thailand production base.

U.S. safety regulators on Monday also announced an expansion of a previous recall to include more model years of Fiat Chrysler vehicles that have ignition switches that can be inadvertently shut off.

FRESENIUS /RHOEN KLINIKUM :

Germany's Fresenius said it has sold the 5 percent stake in Rhoen-Klinikum that it acquired in 2012 as part of its takeover bid for the German hospitals chain.

L'OREAL :

Cosmetics maker L'Oreal USA has agreed to settle U.S. complaints that its advertisements for skin care products Lancome Genifique and L'Oreal Paris Youth Code were deceptive, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Blaise Robinson)

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