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LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - European shares were set for a subdued start on Monday, with world stock markets under pressure from a big drop in oil prices which stoked further worries about a global economic downturn.
Financial spreadbetters at IG expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open up by 16 points, or 0.3 percent higher. Germany's DAX was seen down by 11 points, or 0.2 percent lower, while France's CAC was seen down by 1 point, or unchanged in percentage terms.
Oil prices hit their lowest level since 2003 on Monday, as investors braced for a jump in Iranian exports after the lifting of sanctions against the country over the weekend.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Saturday said Tehran had met its commitments to curtail its nuclear programme, and the United States immediately revoked sanctions that had slashed Iran's oil exports by around 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since its pre-sanctions 2011 peak to little more than 1 million bpd.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 2.8 percent last Friday at its lowest level since mid-December 2014.
A purchase of more than 100 aircraft from Europe's Airbus may be one of Iran's first big deals in a trade and investment boom that could reshape the economy of the Middle East.
Any deal between French telecoms operators Orange and Bouygues must not hurt competition in the sector, the head of France's ARCEP telecom's regulator said in a newspaper interview.
French retailer Casino said on Monday it was committed to maintaining its "investment grade" after ratings agency Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade its debt to junk status, citing weakness in Brazil and high debt.
Officials from French carmaker Renault, whose offices were searched last week in a probe into vehicle emissions, will appear on Monday before a commission looking at whether carmakers have broken emissions rules, Les Echos newspaper reported on Saturday.
The chief executive of one of the world's biggest firms, Royal Dutch Shell , warned on Sunday that the oil and gas company would be negatively impacted were Britons to back leaving the European Union in a referendum.
Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica SA has expressed interest in buying AT&T Inc's pay TV assets in Latin America, which could be valued at around $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Porsche-Piech family clan, which control a majority of the voting rights in Volkswagen, are standing behind the company's chief executive, insiders say, despite criticism of his handling of the emissions crisis during a U.S. visit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares drop to 2011 levels as oil slump intensifies > Wall St hemorrhages as oil tumbles and China fears deepen > Nikkei falls to 1-yr low as investors stay risk averse after Wall St fall > TREASURIES-Bond prices gain sharply on weak data > FOREX-Yen loses steam as yuan firms after China's anti-speculation move > PRECIOUS-Gold gains as equities falter on disappointing U.S. data > METALS-Copper rallies on China yuan steps, but pessimism remains > Oil slides to lowest since 2003 as Iran sanctions lifted (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)