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LIVE MARKETS-On our radar: chips are down

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For a Friday, it's relatively busy on the corporate news front, but the main focus for investors will likely be chipmakers after Micron's warning overnight which will underscore worries about the health of smartphone demand amid tensions between the United States and China.

Infineon, AMS, Siltronic are seen under pressure.

Italian oil and gas group Eni will be in focus after news its chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, was under investigation for a conflict of interest issue over dealings in the Congo. Its Var Energi AS has bought Exxon Mobil's Norwegian oil and gas assets for $4.5 billion.

Good news for Pirelli after shareholder Camfin said it has underwritten a financial instrument which gives the holding company the right to increase its stake in tyremaker up to 15% from current 10.1%.

Elsewhere in Italy, one dealer says Telecom Italia shares may get a lift after chairman Conti has resigned.

Europe's beleaguered banking sector remains in the spotlight - Commerzbank has warned it no longer expects a rise in underlying revenue this year while its supervisory board approved plans announced last week to cut thousands of staff and close a fifth of its branches. Shares are down 2.6% in pre-market trade.

Here are some early headlines:

Commerzbank cuts revenue forecast as board approves overhaul

Eni CEO searched, under investigation over dealings in Congo

Exxon to sell Norway assets to Eni's Var Energi for $4.5 bln

Westinghouse to buy Rolls-Royce's North American Civil Nuclear unit

BMW not interested in settling EU cartel investigations - WirtschaftsWoche

Telecom Italia chairman quits as shareholder feud subsides

Capgemini Receives Clearance For Its Proposed Acquisition Of Altran

Carrefour completes sale of 80% stake in Carrefour China to

Rheinmetall AG Regional Disruption Of Production Due To Malware At Rheinmetall Automotive

(Josephine Mason and Joice Alves)



European stocks are expected to open higher, displaying some resilience to pressure overnight in Asia and Wall Street amid renewed optimism, albeit fragile, about the U.S.-China trade tensions with reports of another round of official talks aimed at ending the protracted spat due in two weeks.

But gains will be tentative after a Q1 profit warning from U.S. chipmaker Micron which has stirred anew worries about demand for memory chips and about the damage from Washington's dispute with Beijing. Micron's shares were down nearly 6.5% on Wall Street and the news has upset Asian rivals overnight.

Adding further gloom to the tech sector were media reports that Washington is unlikely to allow American firms to supply China's Huawei Technologies, one of the world's top smartphone makers, undermining hopes of a complete deal between the world's top two economies.

IG financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open 12 points higher at 7,363, Frankfurt's DAX to open 10 points higher at 12,299, and Paris' CAC to open 3 points lower at 5,618.

Still, the pan European and euro-zone benchmark indices have had a torrid week amid fresh political tumult on both sides of the pond and worries about the euro-zone economy and are set for their first weekly drop since mid-August.

(Josephine Mason and Joice Alves)


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