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LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: Cars skid, retailers rise, Natixis off lows

Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm:// OPENING SNAPSHOT: CARS SKID, RETAILERS RISE, NATIXIS OFF LOWS (0732 GMT) Most of the European indices open higher, but Germany's DAX is underperforming hit by falling auto stocks. Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler is sliding 3% after it cut full-year profit expectations and peers BMW and VW are down 1%. Eurofins Scientific down 4% and is the top faller on the STOXX 600 index after the testing and inspection firm said the recent cyber attack could materally hit profits. Among the risers, Morphosys IS jumping 6% on strong clinical trial data and Orsted is up 5% after it was selected as the preferred bidder for a major U.S. offshore wind project. Retailers are among top performers in Europe, with Metro jumping 5% after an unsolicited takeover offer by two prominent investors and Europe's largest retailer Carrefour rising 2% after it decided to sell majority of its loss-making Chinese business. Natixis has surprised with a 2% rise, against pre-market expectations of a sharp drop, as the bank's fund management arm H2O's statement seems to be soothing worried investors. H2O said it had marked down the value of its funds by up to 7% as it seeks to contain the fallout from reports of its investments in illiquid debt. (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** ON OUR RADAR: CARMAKERS, NATIXIS, METRO (0647 GMT) Futures point to flat to slightly higher open for European stocks with DAX lagging others as a profit warning by Daimler casts a shadow on German auto stocks. Daimler slides 6% in premarket after the Mercedes-Benz maker cut profit expectations as it set aside more money for issues related to its diesel vehicles. BMW and VW shares seen 1-2% lower. German retailer Metro is expected to rise 3.5% after receiving an unsolicited takeover offer by two prominent investors. The company however advised its shareholders to hold off on taking action as the offer "substantially undervalues" the company. Coming off a 14% slump late last week, Natixis is back in focus as its fund management arm H2O said on Monday it had sold some of its non-rated private bonds and removed entry fees across all its funds to attract fresh investors. The move doesn't seem to be enough for investors to regain confidence in Natixis as traders call the shares 3-5% lower citing 1.4 billion euro outflows from H2O. France's Carrefour said it had agreed to sell most of its operations in China, becoming the latest Western retailer to announce a retreat from the Chinese market amid fierce competition from domestic rivals and a growing online market. Carrefour shares seen 1% higher. One trader expects shares in German biotech firm Morphosys to jump 8% on positive clinical trial data. In the UK, Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc said it started a strategic review of the business, which includes a potential sale of the firm. Key headlines: Daimler warns on 2019 profit outlook as diesel issues bite France's Carrefour takes step to leave China with deal Natixis' H20 arm sells some of its bonds portfolio Illiquid assets held by Woodford's UK fund pose hurdle to reopening Nostrum Oil & Gas considers sale of company UK consumer spending growth in 2019 to be slowest in six years -EY ITEM Club European stock futures snapshot: (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** DAIMLER'S PROFIT WARNING, METRO TAKEOVER OFFER, H2O SAGA (0554 GMT) Couple of major corporate news from Germany on Sunday and an update from Natixis' H2O on its private bond holdings are making big headlines this morning. Daimler warns on 2019 profits after it expects an increase in expenses linked to "various ongoing governmental proceedings and measures" with regard to Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. Daimler shares slide 6% in premarket trade, while peers VW and BMW are down 1%. German retailer Metro said it received unsolicited takeover offer by two prominent investors, but it advised shareholders to hold off on taking action as the offer "substantially undervalues" the company. Metro shares rise 3.5% in premarket trade. H20, the fund management arm of French bank Natixis, said it had sold some of its non-rated private bonds. The move comes after the fund was put in the spotlight last week when Morningstar flagged its review, citing questions over liquidity and governance at the fund. "Following this mark down, triggered by press reports which dried up market liquidity and widened bid-ask spreads, H2O's funds will be priced at a discount between 3% and 7%. H2O has decided to remove all entry fees across all funds until further notice," the fund management company said on Monday. (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** EUROPEAN STOCKS SEEN SLIGHTLY LOWER (0527 GMT) European stocks are expected to open slightly lower on Monday after the pan-European STOXX 600 ended last week posting its third straight week of gains. Financial spreadbetters IG expect London's FTSE to open 16 points lower at 7,392, Frankfurt's DAX to open 56 points down at 12,284, and Paris' CAC to open 10 points lower at 5,518. Daimler in focus after the Mercedes-Benz maker said on Sunday that its operating profit this year is now expected to be at last year's level versus its prior estimate for a slight increase. It cites warning to expected increase in expenses linked to "various ongoing governmental proceedings and measures" with regard to Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Helen Reid, Josephine Mason and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)