Monday Morning View From Europe

by: Dealing Floor

From DealingFloor:

** EUROPE: HEADLINES **

- ECB’s Draghi Says Oil, Euro Appreciation Are Risks to Italian Recovery
- Germany’s Steinbrueck Sticks to Growth Forecast Even With Oil Set to Rise
- German IG Metall Union, Employers Reach 3 Percent Pay Accord, Avert Strike
- EU Ministers Back Proposal to Increase Competition in Services Industry
- G-7 Says Economy Is `Strong,’ Urges Asian Nations to Let Currencies Gain

** EUROPE: IN PLAY TODAY **

- Notable earnings reports today: Svenska Handelsbanken, Kuehne & Nagel, Electrolux, Novartis, Renault, Banco Popular and Saab.

- Thomson SA, The world’s largest supplier of TV set- top boxes has rejected approaches from five private-equity firms seeking to buy the company, the Business reported.

- Abertis Infraestructuras SA said it offered to buy Autostrade SpA as it seeks to form Europe’s largest highway operator. Abertis is offering one of its shares, which last closed at 20.94 euros, for each of Rome-based Autostrade’s 571.7 million shares, Barcelona-based Abertis said today in an e-mailed
statement. Autostrade shareholders also will receive a dividend of 3.75 euros a share before the transaction, valuing the offer at 14.1 billion euros ($17.4 billion).

- EMI Group Plc and Warner Music Group Corp. are preparing for preliminary talks on a merger that would create the world’s third-largest music company, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

- Novartis AG, Switzerland’s largest drugmaker, said first-quarter profit rose
31 percent, helped by the acquisition of generic drugmaker Hexal AG and a gain
from the sale of its nutrition unit. Net income rose to $1.95 billion, or 83
cents a share, from $1.48 billion, or 63 cents, a year earlier. That was above
the $1.7 billion median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Sales rose 13 percent to $8.3 billion.

- Vodafone Group Plc may buy a U.K. internet-service provider, possibly Tiscali
SpA’s U.K. unit, the Sunday Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the
information.

- German Industrial Production published at 12:00 CET.

** US: TRADING HEADLINES **

- G-7 Says Economy Is `Strong,’ Urges Asian Nations to Let Currencies Gain
- Oil Surpasses $75 a Barrel on Concern Over Shipments From Iran and Nigeria
- Dollar Posts Biggest Drop in Month on Concern Fed Near End of Rate Boosts
- U.S. Stocks Climb for Week on Earnings; Dow Average Hits Six-Year High
- Bush Says Hydrogen-Fueled, Pollution-Free Vehicles Are an Attainable Goal
- Treasury Secretary Snow Says U.S. Government Has No Current Account Target
- Dell Gets First `Sell’ Recommendation Among Wall Street Firms Since 1996
- OPEC Will `Just About’ Meet 25% Growth in Oil Demand, IEA Says
- Iran Says There Is `No Going Back’ on Its Nuclear Research

** US: IN PLAY TODAY **

Notable earnings reports today before the U.S. open are from Caterpillar, Xerox, American Express and Kimberly-Clark. Sun Microsystems reports after the closing bell. No macro reports scheduled today.

** ASIAN HEADLINES **

- Yen Rises to Three-Month High After G-7 Calls for Stronger Asia Currencies
- Asian Stocks Slide From 16-Year Highs as Dollar Declines, Oil Nears Record
- Asahi Breweries Offers to Pay $406 Million to Buy Baby-Food Maker Wakodo
- South Korea’s Economy Likely Grew 1.1 Percent in First Quarter on Exports