European Shares Set to Edge Up, Focus on US Earnings


European shares are expected to open modestly higher on Friday after flat performance on Wall Street and in Asia, in a fairly light day for corporate earnings in the region.

With little in the way of European large caps reporting, investors will be watching out for results on Wall Street, where Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank, delivers earnings, along with some of the world's biggest industrial groups such as Caterpillar, oil services company Schlumberger and Honeywell.

Financial spreadbetters in London expect Britain's FTSE 100 index to open 12 to 15 points higher, Germany's DAX to open 32 to 42 points up and France's CAC-40 to open 25 to 35 points higher.

The broader European market, as measured by the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares, has risen by about 0.8 percent this week as relief over U.S. earnings has been offset to a degree by disappointment in Europe, where the likes of Nokia fell by more than 13 percent on Thursday in its largest one-day fall in four years.

The technology sector, which has lost nearly 5 percent this week, could get a lift after Google posted better-than-expected quarterly profits after Wall Street's closing bell on Thursday and said it saw no impact from the slowdown in the broader U.S. economy.

Oil hovering near record highs around $115 a barrel and gold and other metal prices edging up could help commodity shares later on, while a steadier dollar should support any export-sensitive sectors.