European shares were set to fall on Monday in the first trading day of the year after making their biggest yearly fall since 2008, as global growth worries hit investor sentiment with Chinese purchasing managers' index (PMI) data suggesting factories in the world's second largest economy were struggling.
Trading is expected to be light, with the UK market closed for a bank holiday and many other markets such as the United States remaining shut.
By 0717 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.4 percent.
China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) indicated a slight expansion in business activity and suggested the word's second-largest economy may need fresh policy support to counter a slowdown in growth.
Later investors will eye euro zone purchasing managers' indices for December as the first new year gauge of the euro zone's economic malaise.
Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of euro notes and coins and with no end in sight to the euro zone debt crisis, policymakers urged governments in the region to follow a tough savings course in 2012 to overcome the debt crisis.
European shares recorded their biggest annual drop since 2008 on Friday for the last day of the trading year, with banks the worst performers due to their exposure to the euro zone debt crisis.
Industry Minister and former Chief Executive Corrado Passera confirmed in a letter to Il Corriere della Sera on Saturday he had sold all his shares in the bank to defuse any concerns about a conflict of interests given his current public role. The minister also said in a post scriptum to the letter that he would not mind being paid in government bonds.
The bank has fully reopened its representative office in Libya as it looks to reinforce cooperation with the country after the war, it said in a statement on Friday. Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni told Il Messaggero on Saturday he expected positive results from ECB's liquidity boost and said he was confident Italy's planned reforms in the early months of 2012 will help Italy exit a recession soon.
MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA
The board of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena BMPS.MI will meet on Jan 12 to appoint a new general manager, the bank said on Saturday, in what could become a major management shake-up at Italy's third-biggest lender.
The bank said on Friday it had received request for converting around 289 million euros of FRESH convertible notes, at a price of 2.12 euros per share. As a result, the bank's capital rose to 6.73 billion euros from 6.65 billion euros.
Daimler aims to produce nearly 1 million Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Germany this year, Automotive News Europe said on Sunday, citing internal documents it had obtained.
Separately, Daimler's finance chief told Euro am Sonntag on Sunday that the company was on track to meet its targets for operating profit and sales for 2011.
The German utility will shortly make a move toward planned expansion into new markets outside Europe, Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen told a German newspaper.
Consumer demand for liquid crystal displays has weakened as expected, but there is no serious slump, the company's finance chief Matthias Zachert told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
A group of investment funds is seeking nearly 2 billion euros ($2.60 billion) in compensation from Porsche Automobil Holding SE for losses incurred in a short squeeze as Porsche attempted to take over larger rival Volkswagen in 2008.
Separately, Porsche wants its vehicle sales to increase faster than the 6.5 percent growth forecast for the global passenger car market in 2012, marketing director Bernhard Maier said in an interview with Automotive News Europe.
The generic drugmaker said on Sunday the price it would pay for the rights to market a range of products in Eastern Europe and the Middle East has been reduced to around 152 million euros from around 360 million euros.