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LIVE MARKETS-UK utilities: At last a devil you know!

* European shares retreat in volatile trade

* STOXX hits 5-month low as trade woes loom

* European utilities in demand

* U.S. stocks futures flat to slightly lower

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets

brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on

Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves:


Better the devil you know as they say! There's a sense of relief on the London stock market

after Britain's regulator finally unveiled its plans to cap energy bills.

The scheme aims to save households about a billion pounds a year and keep the government's

promise to tackle "rip-off" prices.

After being hammered last October when Theresa May announced her intention to go forward

with a "price cap", UK utilities are on the rise today in what seems a classic 'sell the rumour,

buy the news' trade.

"There's nothing the market hates more than a lack of clarity and now the level of the price

cap is known analysts can reflect it in their earnings estimates," said Russ Mould, investment

director at AJ Bell.

"A price cap which will limit the amount Centrica (Frankfurt: A0DK6K - news) 's British Gas operation can charge

customers hardly seems like cause for celebration, but the key point is that it will address the

uncertainty which has dogged the stock in the last couple of years", he said about the rise in

one of Britain's biggest energy providers.

As you can see below, utilities are adding the most points to UK blue chips but there's a

broader return in grace today for the traditionally defensive sector as trade war worries grow.

The sectoral index is currently posting the best performance across European

markets, up 0.8 percent with a positive note from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) on Italy's Enel (LSE: 0NRE.L - news) also

helping lift the mood.

(Julien Ponthus)



Even (Taiwan OTC: 6436.TWO - news) though markets are jittery around headlines on global trade, UBS (LSE: 0QNR.L - news) ' assessment is that,

so far, Euro zone export volumes are just moderating, rather than "falling of a cliff".

But if trade tensions get worse then, write UBS, they would be worried about the trade


"Trade concerns are likely to persist in the coming months," Anna Titareva, economist at

UBS, says in a note.

"The trade outlook could worsen if the risk of protectionism were to become reality."

(Kit Rees)



European shares have opened in the red but losses for the STOXX are limited to 0.2

percent (although the index has hit a 5-month low in opening trade) and some other benchmarks

are even egging up in positive territory. Surely losses on emerging markets and looming trade

woes are keeping investors on the edge, reluctant to take on big risks. There are some bright

spots, however, with Safran (LSE: 0IU8.L - news) rallying after lifting its guidance and utilities in demand

following a Goldman upgrade for Italy's Enel and after the UK regulator set an energy price cap

that was at the lower range of analysts' expectations.

Here's your snapshot:

(Danilo Masoni)



European shares are set for a sluggish open today on worries Washington will follow through

on plans to levy an extra $200 billion of Chinese imports, while heavy losses in U.S. tech

stocks overnight could also weigh further. Futures on main regional benchmarks are trading

between a rise of 0.05 percent and a fall of 0.2 percent.

On the corporate front newsflow is thin but there are some earning updates and dealmaking

activity that could liven up the session.

Heavyweight drugmaker Novartis (IOB: 0QLR.IL - news) is seen up 0.7 percent in pre-market after it agreed to sell

parts of its U.S. business in a $900 million deal that will help it focus on higher growth

areas. In updates, Safran could find support after the world's third largest aerospace supplier

raised full-year forecasts following better-than-expected sales and profit in the first half on

strong demand for spares and services. Safran shares have come down a bit from the new record

high hit last month.

In tech, shares Taiwan (Taiwan OTC: 6549.TWO - news) 's Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) supplier Largan Precision fell after disappointing August

sales. That could weigh on other Apple suppliers such as Germany's Dialog and AMS (IOB: 0QWC.IL - news) .

Other stock movers: France's Sodexo unveils strategic plan to boost growth; Just Group

delays dividend on mortgage rule risks; Dixons Carphone (Frankfurt: CWB.F - news) begins slow road to recovery, says on

track for targets; Atlantia (LSE: 0I2R.L - news) -Abertis (Amsterdam: IF6.AS - news) deal will proceed as planned - Gilberto Benetton to paper

(Danilo Masoni)



European stock futures are trading flat to slightly lower, pointing to a sluggish open for

equities in the region - a sign that investors remain reluctant to take big risks on a day when

consultations on a U.S. plan to impose levies on $200 billion more of Chinese imports end.

Washington will decide on the new tariffs after the deadline although it is unclear how

quickly that will happen. Investors are concerned the U.S. will follow through on the plan.

"A big jump in the US trade deficit to $50.1 billion appears to have convinced markets that

the prospect of further tariffs is almost inevitable, given that the gap with China hit yet

another record high," says Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The deficit with the EU also rose to a record high, which suggests that it won’t be long

before President Trump starts banging that drum again," he adds.

Here's your snapshot:

(Danilo Masoni)



Among the corporate headlines that could move stocks this morning there's a good-looking

update from the world's third largest aerospace supplier Safran, which raised its 2018

targets, while Novartis agreed to sell parts of its U.S. business as the drugmaker

looks to focus on higher growth areas. Here are all the headlines, click on the link for more.

Safran raises 2018 targets after beating H1 forecasts

Novartis sells parts of Sandoz US to India's Aurobindo for $900 mln

Drugmaker GSK to eliminate 650 U.S. jobs

Australia watchdog flags concerns on Siemens (BSE: SIEMENS.BO - news) , Alstom (LSE: 0J2R.L - news) rail deal

Norsk Hydro (LSE: NHY.L - news) says it signed deal with Brazil after pollution concerns

Glencore (Frankfurt: 8GC.F - news) seeks to grow Brazil fuel distribution unit -Ale CEO

SBM Offshore (Swiss: SBM.SW - news) to pay additional fines to Petrobras

Vivendi (LSE: 0IIF.L - news) says TIM's performance since Elliott took over "disastrous"

Germany's Commerzbank (Xetra: CBK100 - news) gets the boot from the DAX index

Carige's biggest shareholder seeks to block rival's boardroom plan

Salini, FCC and AECOM (NYSE: ACM - news) win $1.5 bln airport project in Peru

K+S (Swiss: SDF-EUR.SW - news) to cut further costs this year as drought hampers production

Volvo reveals new robo-taxi in race to autonomy

Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW.L - news) plans to drill first Guyana well in third quarter of 2019

France's Altran (Paris: FR0000034639 - news) says Aricent forgery was isolated event

(Danilo Masoni)



European shares are set to open little changed today after ending at a two-month low in the

previous session on ongoing worries over trade and emerging markets currencies.

Here are your morning calls, courtesy of CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX.L - news) :

* FTSE 100 is expected to open 3 points lower at 7,380

* DAX is expected to open 10 points higher at 12,050

* CAC 40 is expected to open 4 points higher at 5,264

Over in Asia, shares fell for a sixth straight session as oil skidded and safe-haven gold

gained, with investor confidence shaken by turmoil in emerging markets and jitters over a

potentially severe escalation in the U.S.-China trade war, writes Swati Pandey in Sydney.

(Danilo Masoni)