European stock futures point to a flat opening on Monday, with tech shares likely to be in focus after German magazine Wirtschafts Woche reported citing HP employee representatives that the computer and printer maker plans to cut around 8,000 jobs in Europe by the end of 2014 as part of a restructuring.
The euro edged lower against the dollar and yen in Asian deals, as caution prevails ahead of a European Union summit starting Thursday that could discuss specific steps to ease the stress in Spain's banking sector.
Greece's new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be unable to fly to Brussels for this crucial summit , as he is recovering from an eye surgery. The troika was expected to make a quick visit to Athens today but postponed it due to Samaras' poor health condition.
The leaders of Germany, France, Spain and Italy on Friday vowed to set aside 130 billion euros for measures to support growth, but they gave no indication of taking up common liabilities such as eurobonds.
Meanwhile, the German government on Sunday won the approval of the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, for Germany's ratification of the EU fiscal compact and the European Stability Mechanism, Europe's permanent bailout fund.
Asian shares are trading mostly lower before Italy and Spain auction securities tomorrow. China's Shanghai Composite index is retreating 0.9 percent, Japan's Nikkei average is down 0.7 percent and South Korea's Kospi average is losing 1.2 percent.
India's benchmark Sensex is rising 0.9 percent on expectations the government will move quickly on economic reforms after Presidential elections. The Indian rupee rallied more than a percent against the greenback as reports emerged that the government and the RBI will announce some measures today to encourage flow of foreign exchange into the country.
In domestic corporate news, Novartis AG said it has received a positive CHMP ( European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use) opinion for once-daily SeebriR BreezhalerR to relieve symptoms in adult patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the EU.
France's Casino Group announced that it has become the sole controlling shareholder in Brazilian food and merchandise retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar.
Oil servicing company Technip S.A. said that it was awarded by EnQuest Britain a contract for the development of the Alma and Galia fields, located 310 kilometers Southeast of Aberdeen, U.K.
Shire Plc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's response to its Adderall XR citizen petition is consistent with its recent decisions on other long acting ADHD products.
European stocks fell on Friday, with a fresh round of bank downgrades from Moody's and data showing deteriorating German business confidence weighing on sentiment. Weak U.S. and Chinese economic data also fueled fears of a new global recession.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks lost 0.6 percent and the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, fell half a percent. Around Europe, Switzerland's SMI, France's CAC 40, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and the German DAX ended down between 0.4 percent and 1.3 percent.
U.S. stocks posted moderate gains on Friday, as an action by the European Central Bank to ease rules on the collateral requirements of banks to access ECB funding outweighed Moody's move to downgrade the credit ratings of 15 large banks. Financial giant Morgan Stanley was among the companies downgraded, although its long-term debt rating was lowered by just two notches compared to expectations for three. The Dow rose half a percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.7 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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