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European Markets to Open Lower, Debt Fears Persist

CNBC.com and Reuters
Monday, 30 May 2011 | 1:54 AM ET

European shares were set to open flat to slightly lower on Monday, tracking falls in Asia, with volumes expected to be thin as Britain's market was closed for a holiday.

Germany's DAX was seen down 3-8 points, or as much as 0.1 percent lower and France's CAC 40 was expected fall 3 to 5 points, or down 0.1 percent, according to financial spreadbetters.

Some caution was also expected to prevailed as European authorities are likely to deliver their verdict this week on Greece's faltering drive to bring its budget deficit under control.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent in thin trade as exporters slipped on the back of renewed strength in the yen.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed 0.7 percent higher at 1,134.42 points on Friday.

US financial markets will also be closed on Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.

The euro dipped on Monday as investors covered short positions in the dollar following a slide last week.

However, the euro still held most of the gains it made on Friday when it rose higher than 1 percent against the US currency for its biggest one-day percentage rise in around a month.

European leaders are in talks for a new bailout for Greece that would include incentives for private bond holders to voluntarily extend payment schedules and fresh austerity measures, the Financial Times reported.

Eurozone retail data for May will be released at 8:10 and the British Chambers of Commerce published its quarterly outlook for the UK economy, including predictions for unemployment, inflation, GDP growth and interest rates. It lowered its quarterly growth outlook to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent.

In Germany, the ethics commission on nuclear energy will present its final report to Chancellor Angela Merkel at 8:40 London time, with the parliamentary groups of the coalition due to discuss the findings at 9:30.

Parties in Merkel's coalition agreed to shut down all nuclear reactors by 2022.

Shares in French nuclear firm Areva are likely to fall following the German nuclear energy report.

Chancellor Merkel will travel to Asia on Monday night to begin a three day tour of India and Singapore.

French Finance Minister and frontrunner for the IMF managing director job Christine Lagarde is due to visit Brazil on Monday.

Contact Europe: Economy

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