U.S. politics pressures Europe shares, M&A, earnings provide support
* Earnings boost Burberry (Adds quotes and detail, updates prices)
PARIS, Nov 19 European stocks are set to rise on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia on hopes of a deal in Washington to avoid a damaging "fiscal cliff". At 0725 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.8-1.0 percent. On Friday, leaders of the U.S. Senate and House emerged from a meeting at the White House and said they would be flexible in efforts to settle fiscal policy differences, sparking a late rally on Wall Street. Over the weekend, leading U.S. lawmakers also expressed confidence that a deal would be reached. Investors have been fretting about how the U.S. government will avoid stepping off the $600 billion 'fiscal cliff' of spending cuts and tax rises which automatically kick in the new year without a political agreement on setting the budget, which could drag the U.S. economy back into recession. "It will be tense, just like last year, but at the end there should be a deal otherwise it's political suicide. I'm confident we'll have a Christmas rally, so I'm 'long equities'," a Paris-based trader said. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares sank 2.7 percent last week - its worst weekly performance in nearly six months - hurt by fears over Washington's "fiscal cliff" as well as renewed worries over Greece's debt sustainability. Greece will again be in the spotlight ahead of a meeting of the Eurogroup on Tuesday. Disagreements among European policymakers and the IMF is threatening to delay the next 31.5 billion euro tranche of Greece's bailout, which could push the country close to bankruptcy. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said over the weekend that she would push for a permanent solution to Greece's debts to avoid prolonged uncertainty and further damage to the Greek economy. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0724 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,359.88 0.48 % 6.55 NIKKEI 9,153.20 1.43 % 129.04 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 509.64 0.4 % 2.02 EUR/USD 1.2765 0.2 % 0.0025 USD/JPY 81.26 -0 % 0.0000 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.603 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.328 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,723.10 0.56 % $9.61 US CRUDE $87.89 1.12 % 0.97 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise on positive U.S. tone > Washington's positive tone cheers Wall St for a day > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 1.43 pct > TREASURIES-Prices drop in Asian trading, pulling yields off lows > Yen hits 7-mth low on likely next govt's calls for easing > Gold firms on soft dollar; US fiscal talks eyed > Copper rallies on hopes for U.S. fiscal fix > Brent climbs to above $109 on Mideast tensions COMPANY NEWS: UNICREDIT Italian biggest bank by assets is in talks with Kazakh investors over the sale of a controlling stake in Kazakhstan's ATF Bank, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday. TELECOM ITALIA Shareholders in Telco, the holding company that controls Telecom Italia, will discuss Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris' proposal to help the group acquire Brazil's GVT and finance other investment after a board meeting on Dec. 6, Corriere della Sera reports. BANCA POPOLARE DI MILANO Moody's has placed on review for downgrade the Baa3/Prime-3 long and short-term debt and deposit ratings of the Italian lender. The review primarily reflects Moody's view that bank's internal capital generation is low and that its asset quality is weakening, the rating agency said in a statement on Saturday. SANTANDER, BBVA, SABADELL Spain's Santander plans to invest in the country's so-called bad bank in a sign that healthy domestic lenders are willing to support the entity created to clean up the aftermath of a 2008 property crash. BBVA and Sabadell are considering investing in the vehicle but have yet to make a decision DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Germany's network regulator said on Friday it will lower the rates the four mobile operators can charge each other to connect calls, putting further pressure on their already shrinking revenues. DAIMLER A Daimler and Bosch joint venture on electric engines is raising its original target to produce 1 million units to 2 million units by 2020, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung said on Saturday, citing a company executive. Separately, Der Spiegel reported that Daimler will enlarge its management board to put a top executive in charge of its troublesome Chinese car business. SIEMENS The engineering group is able to deliver only 3 of the 8 ICE high-speed trains it had planned to have finished for rail operator Deutsche Bahn by December because of software problems, daily Die Welt reported, citing an unnamed Siemens employee. HOCHTIEF The builder said its Chief Executive Frank Stieler has agreed to step down and Marcelino Fernandez Verdes of majority shareholder ACS is set to replace him, in a sign of the Spanish parent company seeking tighter control. Hochtief's supervisory board chairman Manfred Wennemer would also resign, it added. REPSOL Spanish oil major Repsol hopes to reach an agreement with Argentina on compensation for the nationalisation of Repsol's YPF subsidiary, the company's chairman said in an interview published on Sunday. FUGRO The Dutch engineering consultancy, which specialises in surveys for marine construction and offshore exploration, lowered its 2012 outlook due to low seismic vessel utilisation and a write-off in subsea. EDF CEO Henri Proglio denied talk of tensions between him and Francois Hollande over his role as head of the state-owned power group, saying he had a "normal" relationship with the French president. The CEO, who was speaking after a trip with Hollande to Poland, said that if the government had wanted to eject him from his post, it would have done so already. VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT The waste and water group plans to cut a fifth of the 500 posts at its headquarters, where possible through voluntary departures, the Nouvel Observateur reported. CREDIT SUISSE Credit Suisse Group AG will pay $120 million to settle U.S. civil charges that it misled investors in the sale of risky mortgage bonds prior to the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. regulators said on Friday. ROCHE Swiss drugmaker Roche's cancer drug Avastin failed to make a statistically significant difference to survival rates of patients with a common form of brain cancer in a late-stage study, the company said on Saturday. FINMECCANICA Japan's Nidec Corp is interested in Finmeccanica's power engineering unit AnsaldoEnergia and is ready to invest 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) to expand its presence in Europe, president Shigenobu Nagamori told Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday.
* Earnings boost Burberry (Adds quotes and detail, updates prices)
LONDON, May 18 European shares dropped in early deals on Thursday as political upheaval in Washington D.C. continued to weigh, though deal-making activity and earnings updates kept the region's outperformance against global peers intact.
* Thyssenkrupp gains on Tata tie-up hopes (Adds details, closing prices)