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FRANKFURT, March 16 (Reuters) - The DAX top-30 index looked set to open 0.9 percent higher on Thursday, according to premarket data from brokerage Lang & Schwarz at 0707 GMT.
The following are some of the factors that may move German stocks:
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's second interest rate hike in three months, underscoring the diverging policy paths of major global central banks.
The Netherlands' centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte was on course for a resounding victory over anti-Islam and anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, offering huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism.
BMW indicated 1 percent higher
Daimler indicated 1 percent higher
Volkswagen indicated 1.4 percent higher
European new car registrations rose 2.1 percent in February, even as large markets like Germany and volume brands like VW, Opel, Vauxhall and Peugeot posted lower sales, the Association of European Carmakers (ACEA) said on Thursday.
Separately, the top executive of Fiat Chrysler said on Wednesday that he has "zero interest in pursuing" merger talks with his counterpart at Volkswagen.
Also, Volkswagen's trucks unit MAN published its annual report and said it expected its operating profit and return on sales to increase significantly this year.
Indicated 1.1 percent higher
Moody's downgrades E.ON's credit rating to "Baa2", with a "stable" outlook. S&P revises its outlook on E.ON to "stable" from "negative" and lowers its rating to "BBB" from "BBB+".
Indicated 0.5 percent higher
HeidelbergCement raised its target for cost savings from the acquisition of Italcementi to 470 million euros from 400 million euros on Thursday after cutting jobs almost four times as fast as planned in 2016.
Indicated 1.5 percent higher
Lufthansa expects its profit to fall slightly this year due to pressure on ticket revenues and an increasing fuel bill, it said on Thursday after reporting annual results in line with expectations.
Indicated 1 percent higher
Annual report due. The group already reported preliminary 2016 financial results on Feb. 23 and predicted another record year on the back of a strong German economy.
Indicated 3.7 percent lower
The potash miner said its quarterly operating profit slumped 84 percent on lower global prices of the crop nutrient and after environmental restrictions temporarily crimped output volumes.
Indicated 0.8 percent higher
Full Q4 results due. The group already said on Feb. 3 that its 2016 pretax profit rose about 12 percent to 145 million euros.
Indicated 0.6 percent higher
Pfeiffer Vacuum's management is currently not in touch with shareholder Busch Group, after Busch withdrew its takeover offer for the pump maker, Pfeiffer CEO Manfred Bender told Boersen-Zeitung in an interview.
Indicated 0.2 percent higher
The group forecast its adjusted EBIT margin would improve moderately this year, as it reported a rise in 2016 profits thanks to shrinking costs and writedowns.
Indicated 3.3 percent higher
The German fashion house announced a share buyback for a maximum price of 5 million euros.
It also said expected its full-year sales to fall by 2 to 4 percent from last year's 900.8 million euros as it reported fiscal first-quarter financial results.
Indicated 1.3 percent higher
Q4 results due.
Dow Jones +0.5 pct, S&P 500 +0.8 pct, Nasdaq +0.7 pct at close.
Nikkei +0.1 pct, Shanghai stocks +0.9 pct.
Time: 7.13 GMT.
No economic data scheduled.
REUTERS TOP NEWS (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde and Maria Sheahan)