European Shares Seen Flat Ahead of Debt Auctions
European stocks were seen mostly unchanged on Monday, following last week's strong gains, as investors brace for this week's flurry of debt auctions in the euro zone and the start of the U.S. earnings season with aluminium major Alcoa first to report.
European stocks fell slightly on Friday, as worries about the euro zone intensified ahead of debt auctions next week and U.S. data showed far fewer jobs were created in December than forecast.
With little scheduled macroeconomic news on Monday, markets will likely focus on the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, with Portugal in particular firmly in the spotlight.
"The Portuguese had to pay so much just to borrow for six months. What on earth are they going to have to pay for ten years?," David Miller, partner at Cheviot Asset Management told CNBC.
He added the real test will come on Wednesday, when Portugal plans to sell bonds which mature in 2014 and 2020.
France and Germany are set to release industrial output and manufacturing turnover data respectively on Monday, both for November.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy visits the United States on Monday, where he will meet President Barack Obama and discuss priorities for the G20. Sarkozy began his yearlong term as president of the Group of 20 top economic powers in November.