European Shares to Edge Higher, Earnings Eyed


European shares are expected to open modestly higher on Wednesday amid a stream of earnings including figures from British mortgage lender HBOS and French construction group Bouygues.

Financial bookmakers in London expect Britain's FTSE 100 to gain between 16 and 17 points, or up to 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX, to gain 12 to 17 points, or up to 0.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 to gain 14 to 19 points, or up to 0.4 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 1.4 percent to 1,361.18 points on Tuesday, helped in part by a rally in shares of Britain's Standard Chartered which reported upbeat results, and by reassurance over the creditworthiness of the top two U.S. bond insurers.

Asian stocks rallied, helped by a technology shares following IBM's $15 billion share buyback on Tuesday, which helped Wall Street shares gain for a third day, and by a drop in the dollar that boosted commodity prices.

The surge in the euro to record highs against the dollar could weigh on shares in major exporters such as autos, while oil and energy shares will likely get a boost from crude oil futures holding around $101 a barrel.