European Shares Set to Rise, UBS in Focus


European shares are set to edge up on Tuesday after posting their worst quarterly performance in over five years on Monday, while on the corporate front, banks will be in focus after Switzerland's UBS said writedowns in the first quarter totaled $19 billion.

Financial bookmakers in London expect Britain's FTSE 100 to open 3 to 11 points higher, Germany's DAX to open 19 to 32 points higher and France's CAC-40 to open 5 to 13 points up.

Major European indexes posted their worst quarterly performance in over five years on Monday as the growing list of casualties from the credit crisis and worsening economic data forced investors to shun equities.

UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, said its first quarter loss was 12 billion Swiss francs ($12.03 billion). The company also said it would seek around 15 billion francs in new capital through a rights issue. Merrill Lynch said in a note on Monday it expected writedowns at UBS to total $11 billion and a first-quarter loss of 8.2 billion franc.

U.S. stocks closed up on Monday after a measure of regional business activity beat expectations in March and the government unveiled a plan to overhaul the financial regulatory framework. Asian shares rose.

A number of major drugmakers including Novartis, Roche and Bayer may be in focus on Tuesday, while on the commodities front, the drop in crude oil towards $100 a barrel could weigh on the shares in oil and gas companies and miners could come under pressure from a drop in precious and base metal prices.