European Mining, Oil Stocks May Fall; Scania, Veolia May Gain

European Mining, Oil Stocks May Fall; Scania, Veolia May Gain

European mining and energy stocks may fall as copper prices dropped and oil traded below $64 for the fourth day. Shares of Rio Tinto Group and BP Plc may pace the decline.

Scania AB may advance on speculation MAN AG may offer about $11.9 billion for the Swedish truckmaker. Veolia Environnement SA may gain after earnings for the world’s biggest water company beat analysts’ estimates.

Benchmarks may open little changed as investors await a U.S. inflation report that may provide clues about further interest-rate increases in Europe’s largest export market.

“The U.S. inflation report is the main focus as people look for further clues as to whether inflationary pressures are easing,” said Martin Slaney, head of spread-betting at GFT Global Markets in London.

Futures on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50, a benchmark for the 12 countries using the euro, added 1 to 3800 at 7:38 a.m. in London. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index may rise 8 to 5885, according to CMC Markets, a spread-betting firm.

Futures and options on indexes, and equity options expire today across Europe, an event that may cause unusual market movements and trading volumes.

Prices paid by U.S. consumers probably rose 0.2 percent last month, according to the median estimate of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Prices rose 0.4 percent in July. So- called core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.2 percent for a second month, according to the survey.

Inflation Concerns

Stocks fell in the U.S. yesterday after reports showed retail sales excluding autos rose less than economists forecast and an increase in import prices revived inflation concerns.

“Without doubt, the market has started to price in the possibility of another rate hike to try and suppress inflationary pressures, but further evidence that the hawkish mood may return stands to weigh on stocks on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of the weekend break,” said Matthew Buckland, a trader at CMC Markets in London.

The Fed left its main rate unchanged last month after 17 consecutive increases since June 2004.

Rio Tinto, the world’s third-biggest mining company, dropped 1.6 percent in Australian trading, and BHP Billiton, the largest, retreated 2.3 percent.

Copper prices in Shanghai fell on concern domestic supplies of the metal will rise after the government cut export tariff rebates on non-ferrous minerals.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil companies, may decline.

Oil Declines

Crude oil for October delivery was at $63.16 a barrel, down 6 cents, in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, the contract fell 75 cents to $63.22 a barrel, the lowest close since March 22.

Oil futures are headed for a third weekly decline as rising U.S. fuel inventories prompt renewed selling.

Scania may advance. MAN, a German maker of commercial vehicles, may offer 9.4 billion euros for rival Scania to become the region’s biggest truckmaker, three people with knowledge of the plan said.

A bid of about 47 euros, or 434 kronor, for each Scania share, may be made early next week, the people said. MAN said yesterday in a statement that a purchase of Scania would be “compelling.” Scania shares closed down 0.4 percent at 420.5 kronor yesterday.

Veolia, Daimler

Veolia may gain after reporting first-half net income of 444.5 million euros compared to analysts’ estimate of 378 million euros, and said it expected full-year sales to rise more than 10 percent.

DaimlerChrysler AG may be active. The parent of Mercedes Car Group opened its first factory in China, boosting its efforts to compete with Volkswagen AG’s Audi AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in the world’s fastest growing major vehicle market.

The new plant in Beijing can make up to 105,000 vehicles a year, Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler said in a press release today. It will produce as many as 25,000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and C-Class sedans annually, as well as Chrysler and Mitsubishi Motor Corp. vehicles. The plant’s annual capacity will nearly triple once a second phase is completed.

Union Fenosa SA, Spain’s third-largest power company, may be active. Analysts at Merrill Lynch & Co. lowered their recommendation on the shares to “sell’ from “neutral,” saying “there are cheaper ways to play the mergers and acquisitions theme, which offer equally good exposure to improving Spanish regulation.”

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