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LIVE MARKETS-London on the backfoot

Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: josephine.mason.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net


LONDON ON THE BACKFOOT (0700 GMT)

The major European stock futures are on the backfoot this morning as investors lock in profits amid broader caution about US-China trade talks, government stimulus and spikes in overnight lending rates in the United States.

London futures are leading the charge lower, down 0.7% after sterling rallied to a two-month high as hopes the country will avoid a no-deal Brexit build again after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said a new Brexit deal could still be reached before the Oct. 31 deadline and the backstop could be potentially replaced.

Brace for volatility with the expiry of contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures, known as quadruple witching day.

In corporate news, Rolls Royce shares are expected to come under pressure after the company warned of further delays its Trent 1000 engines.

Among the midcaps, shares in Investec could fall as much as 10% after the investment bank warned that profits for the first-half of the year will be lower than last year on higher costs as it restructures its business and grapples with "challenging" market conditions.

Thomas Cook is facing fresh uncertainty after its banks ordered the world's old tour operator company to find an additional 200 million pounds ($251 million) of funding in order to guarantee its survival.


Other UK headlines:

Rolls Royce says it's facing another delay to its Trent 1000 engine

Royal Bank of Scotland appoints Alison Rose as CEO

Thomas Cook confirms lenders' request for extra 200 mln stg in rescue deal

Keller CEO Michaelis to step down, reaffirms FY outlook nL3N26B1ME

Rolls-Royce Delays Single-Digit Level Return Of AOGS On Trent 1000


(Josephine Mason)

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ON OUR RADAR: SUPERMARKETS, AIRLINES (0558 GMT)

It's relatively quiet on the corporate front, but supermarkets and airlines are catching a few early headlines.

Casino is in talks to sell its French discount store chain Leader Price to German low-cost rival Aldi, the latest move by the French retailer to cut debts.

There are more ructions in the airline and travel sector: French budget airline XL Airways has become the latest example of low-cost airlines running into financial trouble amid sector overcapacity as it suspended ticket sales and.

Meanwhile a rescue deal for Thomas Cook is facing fresh uncertainty after the travel firm was hit with a demand for extra funds and a panel of bankers delayed a decision that might have won credit investors over to a deal.

Here are your early headlines:

Thomas Cook hit with extra funding demand, threatening rescue

Mediaset strikes deal to fend off Vivendi's withdrawal risk

Philips to sell remaining 10.7% stake in Signify for 357 mln euros

Belgian police search home of new KPN CEO - reports

France's CNP and Brazil's Caixa seal $1.7 bln insurance deal

Casino in talks to sell discount chain Leader Price to Aldi

Air France and easyJet drop Aigle Azur bids as liquidation looms


(Josephine Mason)

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ENDING A 'STRANGE' WEEK (0521 GMT)

If it stays under pressure today, the euro-zone STOXXE benchmark will register its first weekly drop in five reflecting the disquiet from the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, trade tensions, central bank stimulus and the spikes in overnight lending rates that roiled bonds markets and briefly derailed the rally in banking stocks.

The pan European STOXX 600 is proving a little more robust, on track for a 1.2% rise, its fourth straight weekly gain.

As Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK says: "It's been a bit of a strange week for equity markets."

The lack of any escalation (in Saudi Arabia) so far appears to have tempered a good proportion of this week’s surge higher, in the oil price, prompting equity markets to recover from their lows, nonetheless there remains a significant amount of unease as to what might unfold over the course of the next few days and weeks."

"As a result of this uncertainty equity markets have struggled to push on significantly from the gains, we’ve seen over the course of the previous three weeks, with US markets struggling to push on beyond their previous record highs from July."

IG financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open 30 points lower at 7,327, Frankfurt's DAX to open 21 points lower at 12,437, and Paris' CAC to open 10 points lower at 5,649.


(Josephine Mason)

***** (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Josephine Mason and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)