LONDON (Reuters) - European shares were set to inch lower on Monday, with soothing U.S. jobs data on Friday lowering expectations of more stimulus by the country's central bank in a meeting this week and China's trade data seen prompting investors to trim riskier assets.
Figures showed on Saturday China's import growth of 39.6 percent on the year in February was the strongest in a year, well ahead of the 27 percent expected and more than twice the rate of export growth of 18.4 percent. Its quarterly growth is forecast to slow to just over 8 percent in the first quarter from 8.9 percent in the previous quarter.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE to open 17 to 18 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX .GDAXI to fall 17 to 23 points, or as much as 0.3 percent, and France's CAC-40 .FCHI to drop about 13 points, or 0.4 percent.
Expectations of further monetary support by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its policy meeting on March 13 diminished after data showed U.S. employers added more than 200,000 workers for a third straight month in February, while 61,000 more jobs were created in December and January than previously thought.
Resource-related stocks might come under pressure as oil and metals prices fell on demand concerns. Brent crude fell 0.5 percent, while key base metals prices fell 0.3 to 0.7 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 index of top European shares closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,079.37 points on Friday, while Japan's Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.4 percent on Monday.
AEROPORTS DE PARIS (ADP.PA)
The French airports operator has emerged victorious in a bidding war for Turkish airports operator TAV Havalimanlari Holding (TAVHL.IS), agreeing to pay $874 million for a 38 percent stake in the company, sources familiar with the transaction said.
The World Trade Organization has broadly upheld a ruling that Boeing (BA.N) benefited from billions of dollars of unfair subsidies, part of the world's largest trade dispute that has already revealed significant European aid to Airbus, people familiar with the matter said.
Swiss banking software company Temenos (TEMN.S) said on Monday its discussions about an all-share merger with Misys MSY.L had been terminated after they failed to reach an agreement following to rival approaches for the British company. For more, see (TEMN.S)
Seven leading European aviation companies have written to European political leaders warning about the implications of a recently introduced EU carbon tax, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The French nuclear group said the head of its mining business, Sebastien de Montessus, resigned in a bid to close the chapter of the botched $2.5 billion takeover of Canadian start-up UraMin in 2007.
A second year of booming orders has not relieved pressure on the French aerospace supplier to find a buyer and bulk up in a growing sector, its chief executive said.
German chemicals and drugs group Bayer (BAYGn.DE) can grow without resorting to more big M&A deals but won't shy from opportunities that emerge, Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers said in a newspaper interview. <ID:L5E8EA0DR>
Standard & Poor's said it was revising its outlook on the French hotel group to stable from negative and affirming the 'BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term ratings.
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA (BMPS.MI)
The bank's top shareholder said on Friday it had reached a deal with a pool of 11 creditors to unblock shares in the bank it gave them as guarantee for their loans.
The French carmaker said it named Katsumi Nakamura as Head of China Business Operations. He was Chairman of the Asia-Africa Region. In January, Renault said it was seeking approval to assemble cars in China after reaching a production deal with Japanese affiliate Nissan Motor Co's (7201.T) partner, Dongfeng. (RENA.PA)
Fiat could soon turn its attention to sealing an alliance with a European operator in commercial vehicles in which case the front runner would be Peugeot-Citroen, MF said on Saturday citing an industry source close to the company.
Reporting by Atul Prakash