(Adds details, company news; updates market snapshot)
PARIS, Jan 9 (Reuters) - European equities were set to rise on Friday, reversing a two-session losing streak, helped by news that U.S. bank Citigroupagreed to support legislation aimed at stemming home loan foreclosures.
But gains could be limited ahead of key U.S. monthly jobs data and the unemployment rate. The United States is expected to have shed 550,000 jobs in December, making it the worst single month of job losses in 34 years, while the unemployment rate is expected to rise to a 15-year high of 7.0 percent.
A top Federal Reserve official said on Thursday the U.S. recession looked to be longer and more severe than originally thought, but there were signs the economy would improve in the second half of 2009. "We are seeing businesses retrenching and unemployment rising," Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren told the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association's Annual Meeting.
Financial spreadbetters expect Britain's FTSE 100to open 10 to 15 points higher, Germany's DAX to open 41 to 50 points higher and France's CAC-40 to open 19 to 23 points higher.
Citigroup's reported backing of legislation that would bring relief to struggling U.S. borrowers brought on board the support of one of the largest U.S. retail financial institutions -- seen as a key move in winning support for the bill.
European shares dropped on Thursday, led lower by banks and miners, as a flurry of gloomy economic data raised worries about a deep global recession and weak sales by the world's top retailer, Wal-Mart, hurt sentiment.
The FTSEurofirst 300index of top European shares, which tumbled 45 percent in 2008, is up 4.7 percent so far in 2009, and has gained 16 percent since reaching a floor on Nov 21.
----------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0637 GMT----------------------
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500909.73 0.34 % 3.08
NIKKEI8,836.80 -0.45 % -39.62
MSCI ASIA EX-JP287.29 -0.87 % -2.51
EUR/USD1.3655 -0.37 % -0.0051
USD/JPY91.19 0.04 % 0.0400
10-YR US TSY YLD2.430 -- -0.01
10-YR BUND YLD3.138 -- 0.01
SPOT GOLD$855.80 -0.04 % -$0.30
US CRUDE$42.36 1.58 % 0.66
* Wall St up on expected foreclosure deal; Dow off [ID:nN089073]
* Asia stocks slip, dollar up ahead of U.S. jobs [ID:nSP47234]
* Nikkei down in seesaw trade as yen and TDK weigh [ID:nT79835]
* Dlr edges up vs euro but capped before jobs data [ID:nT80315]
* Oil rises above $42 on Saudi cuts, eyes US data [ID:nSP104411]
* TREASURIES-Steady in Asia before U.S. jobs data [ID:nT98138]
* Gold weaker as dollar firms, US jobs data eyed [ID:nT90984]
* METALS-Copper prices slip after 8 pct London surge [ID:nSP9549] COMPANY NEWS:
France's Natixis could post losses of between 1.5 billion euros and 2 billion euros for 2008 and a further recapitalisation of the bank cannot be ruled out, daily Les Echos reports. A spokeswoman for France's fourth-biggest listed bank declined to comment on the report.
For more double click on [CNAT.PA-LEN-RTRS]
The German government will appoint two representatives to Commerzbank's supervisory board after it agreed to become the bank's largest shareholder, German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing government sources.
For details, see: [CBKG.DE-LEN-RTRS]
BNP Paribas expects to remain "comfortably" in profit in 2008 and 2009, its chief executive said on Thursday. Baudoin Prot also told the BFM radio that the French bank had won 200,000 new customers in 2008.
For details, see: [BNPP.PA-LEN-RTRS]
AIR FRANCE-KLM, ALITALIA , LUFTHANSA
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday talks between Alitalia and Air France-KLM are at a very advanced stage, but if Lufthansa were to make a good offer for the Italian carrier Alitalia would still consider it.
For more double click on [AIRF.PA]
Insurer Swiss Life said it has set at 30 euros ($40.67) a share the cash compensation for the squeeze out of remaining shareholders in German financial adviser AWD. The cost of the squeeze out amounts to about 38 million euros, Swiss Life said in a statement. For details, see:[ID:nL9486312]
Sanofi-Aventis is studying the possibility of making a takeover bid for Dutch vaccine maker Crucell NV, Les Echos reported. Crucell on Wednesday said it was in the early stages of friendly merger talks with U.S. drugmaker Wyeth . A Sanofi-Aventis spokesman said on Friday he had no comment to make on the report.
RIO TINTO, BHP BILLITON
Rio Tintowill cut coking coal production as demand from Asian steel mills weakens amid the global slowdown, though rival BHP Billiton is still to decide whether cuts are needed.
For details, see: [ID:nSYD425811]
Premiere will issue new shares at 3.76 euros apiece in the first of two planned capital hikes to overhaul its finances.
For details, see: [IDn:nL8121073]
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)
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