European Factors to Watch-Shares seen steadying at open

Wed Jul 9, 2014 1:39am EDT

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LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen steadying at the open on Wednesday after losses in the previous session, with many investors awaiting the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting for clues on when interest rates may rise.

Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down by 3-4 points, or 0.1 percent lower. Germany's DAX was seen up by 21-23 points, or 0.2 percent higher, while France's CAC was seen up by 9-13 points, or 0.2-0.3 percent higher.

Asian stocks extended losses to a one-week low on Wednesday after China's consumer inflation cooled slightly more than expected in June, pointing to lingering weakness in the economy.

However, on a more positive note U.S. aluminum company Alcoa kicked off the latest earnings season with quarterly results that beat analysts' expectations.

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

Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIAN STOCKS EXTEND DROP AFTER COOL CHINA PRICE DATA

> US STOCKS-WALL ST DROPS ON EARNINGS CAUTION; DOW BELOW 17,000 > NIKKEI DROPS TO FRESH 1-WEEK LOW ON WEAK U.S. SHARES; ANA SHINES > TREASURIES-U.S. BOND PRICES RALLY ON WEAK STOCKS, DATA > FOREX-KIWI FIRM NEAR 3-YEAR HIGH; GREENBACK AWAITS FED MINUTES > PRECIOUS-PALLADIUM CLIMBS FOR 13TH SESSION; GOLD UP ON FUND INFLOWS > METALS-LME COPPER HOVERS NEAR 5-MTH PEAK, CONSOLIDATES GAIN > BRENT FALLS BELOW $109 AS LIBYA RESTARTS OILFIELD

COMPANY NEWS:

SODEXHO :

French catering, facilities management and vouchers group Sodexo said on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter would be weaker than expected due to the delayed start-up of some major contracts and so cut its full-year sales growth goal.

AIRBUS :

British regulators have arrested and questioned four former and current employees of an Airbus unit that operates in Saudi Arabia, as part of a probe into allegations of corruption in the country, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

ADIDAS :

U.S. sportswear maker Nike Inc, battling Adidas to be the world's biggest soccer brand, expects kit sales to keep growing fast after the World Cup, its chief executive was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt newspaper.

SEADRILL :

Norway's Seadrill has cancelled a planned convertible bond issue and voluntary incentive payment offer after its shares dropped 5.4 percent, the company said after the market closed late Tuesday.

L'OREAL /NESTLE :

L'Oreal finalised the buyback of an 8 percent stake in the French cosmetics giant from the Swiss food group Nestle in a deal that will boost earnings per share by more than 5 percent on a full year basis, L'Oreal said on Tuesday.

ENI :

Italy's Eni could be at risk of a credit downgrade if it fails to turn around its troubled refining business soon, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday, as a meeting between the oil major and trade unions over the threat of plant closures ended inconclusively.

AP MOLLER-MAERSK :

Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk moved to shrink its Brazilian petroleum operations on Tuesday, selling its stake in its only producing Brazilian oilfield and saying it will write off $1.7 billion of investments in the country.

SANOFI :

Sanofi SA, whose top-selling Lantus helps diabetics control blood sugar levels, has filed a lawsuit accusing Eli Lilly of infringing seven patents related to insulin and devices used to deliver it. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Anupama Dwivedi)