(Adds company news items)
LONDON Jan 7 European shares were expected to fall sharply at
the open on Thursday, after China accelerated the depreciation of the yuan,
sending currencies across the region reeling and domestic stock markets
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down by
77-79 points, or 1.3 percent lower.
Germany's DAX was seen down by 170-179 points, or 1.7-1.8 percent
lower, while France's CAC was seen down by 64-67 points, or 1.4-1.5
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) again surprised markets by setting the
official midpoint rate on the yuan CNY=SAEC, also known as the renminbi (RMB),
at 6.5646 per dollar, the lowest since March 2011.
China's stock markets were suspended for the rest of the day less than half
an hour after opening as a new circuit-breaking mechanism was tripped for the
second time this week.
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation Pte
ordered 30 Airbus Group A320 narrow-body jets at the end of December as
it ramps up its fleet ahead of a $3 billion initial public offering in Hong
Air France-KLM and its French network Air France both made an operating
profit in 2015, top company officials said on Wednesday.
BAYER /SYNGENTA :
An insecticide widely used on cotton plants and citrus groves can harm bees
that come into contact with those crops under certain conditions, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday. Bayer CropScience, Syngenta
AG and other firms that produce or sell neonic products have said mite
infestations and other factors are to blame for bee deaths.
BRITISH CAR INDUSTRY:
British new car registrations hit an all-time high last year, two sources
told Reuters citing preliminary industry data, helped by rising consumer
confidence, the strength of the pound and cheap car loans.
LEGAL & GENERAL :
Workers at British insurer Legal & General have voted for
industrial action over the threatened closure of a regional office, trade union
Unite said on Wednesday, their first such move since the 1970s.
The U.K.'s financial watchdog is investigating possible manipulation of the
British government-bond market by traders at Lloyds Banking Group,
according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal
Reinsurance prices fell at the start of 2016 and are expected to remain
under pressure in the coming months, though the pace of decline is moderating,
reinsurance brokers said.
Monsanto Chief Executive Hugh Grant said recent attempts to
re-engage Syngenta about a potential takeover have been difficult since the
Swiss agrochemical company shot down a proposed $45 billion deal last year.
He told analysts on an earnings call on Wednesday that company executives
still believe there is "a significant opportunity" for integration between the
two companies, and given tougher market conditions there is a greater need to
figure out what those opportunities might be. "We haven't seen much progress on
that front," he added.
The German automaker assumes it will have to buy back about 115,000 cars in
the United States as a result of the emissions scandal, Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Audi aims to increase the share of electric cars to a quarter of its U.S.
deliveries by about 2026 as the luxury brand steps up efforts to improve battery
technology, the head of its U.S. operations said on Wednesday.
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares slump as China sets yuan lower, triggers circuit
> US STOCKS-Wall St drops to 3-month low; China, energy weigh
> Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes down 2.33 pct
> TREASURIES-Yields fall as low inflation outlook hints at dovish Fed
> FOREX-Yen surges, Aussie hit hard as yuan slide quickens
> PRECIOUS-Flight to safety sends gold to 9-wk high as stocks slump
> METALS-London copper falls on demand concerns as Chinese equities plunge
> Global oil prices hit 11-year low on China market turmoil, storage overhang
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)