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Unchanged Open for Europe on Libya, Japan Worries

European shares look set to open ever so slightly higher on Tuesday, following Asian stocks higher.

Businessman with crystal ball
Fredrik Skold | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Businessman with crystal ball

Steam and smoke rising from two reactors at Japan's nuclear plant, as well as a third night of air strikes from Western powers on Libya left investors worried and willing to take some money off the table after recent gains.

European shares hit a one-week high on Monday, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closing 1.7 percent higher at 1,107.29 points.

According to BGC Partners, the UK's FTSE 100 index will open 6 points higher at 5,792, while Germany's DAX index will rise 5 points to 6,821, and France's CAC index could increase 3 points to 3,907.

European finance ministers meet in Brussels Tuesday ahead of a meeting of European heads of state later this week when they are expected to complete a deal to tighten fiscal discipline and improve economic policy coordination.

The summit follows a deal struck on March 11 to increase the lending capacity of the euro zone rescue fund and allow it to buy sovereign bonds of distressed countries in the primary market.

Spain's Treasury aims to raise between 1.5 billion and 2.5 billion euros in an auction of 3-and 6-month T-bills Tuesday.

In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel and premiers of German states with nuclear power stations will discuss the moratorium on nuclear power announced last week. The decision came amid heightened concerns over the safety of nuclear energy as Japan faced a nuclear crisis.

Further air strikes are expected in Libya as US, British and French forces lead efforts to enforce a no-fly zone, keeping oil prices firmly in focus.

Also on the agenda are UK inflation figures for February as well as UK public sector finance figures for February.

Contact Europe: Economy

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