(Adds futures, company news; updates snapshot table)
PARIS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to fall on Thursday, trimming the previous session's sharp gains as investors looked to book some profits ahead of U.S. weekly jobless claims that will shed light on the health of the U.S. economy.
Heavyweight mining shares will feel the pinch of sharply lower base metal prices, falling on talk of Chinese crackdown on illegal funds.
Chinese commodity futures fell in a widespread sell-off that several market participants said was linked to an investigation into the rubber market. [ID:nTOE68803K]
By 0616 GMT, futures for the STOXX Europe 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.3-0.5 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300index of top European shares gained 1 percent on Wednesday, closing at a four-month high as Portugal's successful debt auction reassured investors.
The index has gained 7 percent since hitting a low in Aug. 25, propelled higher by a batch of reassuring U.S. macroeconomic data.
The Euro STOXX 50rose 0.9 percent to close at 2,752.89 on Wednesday, breaking through resistance at 2,737, a level which represents the 50 percent retracement of a drop from an April peak to a May low.
"The volatility of the current distribution phase on the daily chart is keeping prices from organising into a trend despite a strong bullish push from the Aug. 31 low," Raghee Horner, chief market analyst at Autochartist, wrote in a note.
"Near-term, selling pressure is now building between 2,771 and 2,759, preventing a move higher towards previous resistance at 2,788 and 2,849," she wrote.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0615 GMT----------------------
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 5001,098.87 0.64 % 7.03
NIKKEI9,098.39 0.82 % 73.79
MSCI ASIA EX-JP498.69 0.45 % 2.23
EUR/USD1.2693 -0.24 % -0.0030
USD/JPY83.63 -0.26 % -0.2200
10-YR US TSY YLD2.639 -- -0.01
10-YR BUND YLD2.306 -- 0.01
SPOT GOLD$1,256.35 0.15 % $1.85
US CRUDE$74.78 0.15 % 0.12
* Asia stocks rise, yen steady but outlook hazy [ID:nSGE68802U]
* Wall Street climbs in low-volume session [ID:nN08134951]
* Nikkei rises on Europe relief but gains seen capped [ID:nTOE688034]
* Treasuries-Bonds slip but U.S. debt auction cushions fall [ID:nN08133347]
* Dlr/yen slips towards 15-yr low, Aussie jumps [ID:nTOE688025]
* Gold off lows on bargain hunting; hovers below $1,260 [ID:nSGE68804T]
* Base metals slip on China fund crackdown talk [ID:nSGE688036]
* Oil pares gains on China commods market probe talk [ID:nSGE68805R]
Australia's competition regulator has blocked National Australia Bank's$12 billion bid for AXA Asia Pacific for a second time, dealing a blow to NAB's efforts to cement its dominance in the world's fourth-largest wealth management market.
The ruling sent AXA Asia Pacific's shares tumbling by a tenth to levels not seen since it was put in play late last year, as investors bet Australia's top lender would give up its nine-month quest for control of AXA Asia Pacific, a unit of France's AXA.
Enel said its Green Power unit had a pro forma net profit of 453 million euros in 2009 versus the consolidated figure of 418 million euros. [ID:nWEA7345]
The bank has mandated its chairman to look into the possible governance impact of Libyan shareholders raising their stakes, after the issue triggered concern among some politicians. [ID:nLDE687292]
Chief Executive Louis Gallois said EADS is in talks with a few companies in defense, services and security areas for potential deals and could comfortably make an acquisition of around one billion euros.
E.ON is on track to reach its target of a generation capacity from renewable energy sources of 10,000 megawatts by 2015, German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing the head of E.ON's renewable energy unit, Frank Mastiaux.
Korean National Oil Corp [KOILC.UL] plans to issue its response on Thursday after the UK oil explorer rejected its unsolicited offer, a source close to the deal said. [ID:nTOE68804I]
"We were not about apportioning fault or blame," BP's top safety official told reporters as the company released its internal investigation into the world's worst offshore oil spill. But lawyers involved in oil spill lawsuits say the 193-page report into the deadly April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico sets the stage for court battles between BP and its top contractors. [ID:nN08142248]
Separately, the oil major will not sell its Azeri assets, including a 25 percent stake in the giant Shakh Deniz gas field, and may even look to increase its stakes in Azeri projects, BP's Azeri president said. [ID:nLDE68725L]
The Swedish bank's review of shareholders shows activist fund Cevian Capital is among the top four owners, meaning it is entitled to a seat on the bank's nomination committee, Swedbank told business daily Dagens Industri. Cevian said late last month it controlled 4.64 percent of Swedbank, the Nordic bank hardest hit by the downturn in the Baltic region in recent years.
The European Medicines Agency said it was asking GlaxoSmithKline additional questions about its diabetes drug Avandia before giving a final verdict later this month on whether it should stay on the market. For details, see: [ID:nLDE68724I]
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP
Lloyds Banking Group is to sell its stake in bank-owned housbuilder Crest Nicholson for 150 million pounds ($232 million), the Financial Times said. [ID:nLDE68800U]
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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