Europe Economy

FTSE, CAC, DAX to Open Lower; UK Refuses to Give IMF-EU Aid

European stocks were called lower on Tuesday as Asian shares and the euro steadied overnight after a sell-off on news of North Korean leader Kim Jong il's death.

Close-up of a pen on stock price chart

Europe outperformed indexes in Asia and the US on Monday, but concerns over the sovereign debt crisis continue to weigh.

The FTSE is called 13 points lower, the DAX in Frankfurt is expected to down by 14 points and the CAC 40 is called lower by 6 points.

European Union finance ministers held a three hour conference call on Monday to discuss bilateral loans to a euro zone specific IMF bailout fund designed to ease the debt crisis in the euro zone.

The UK once again found itself at odds with EU partners when British Chancellor George Osborne said his government would not be willing to contribute to a euro zone specific fund, making the target of 200 billion euros look increasingly unlikely.

Non euro zone Sweden said they would contribute with a number of conditions, while Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic also offered to support the fund.

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager told a Dutch TV program late on Monday that Britain had refused to contribute to the IMF fund, but "wanted to talk about it in a G20 context" and euro group chairman Jean Claude Juncker confirmed the UK "will define its contribution early in the new year in the framework of the G20."

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned there will be "very significant" bond market pressure on the euro zone in the first quarter of 2012 due to a number of bonds expiring including 230 billion euros in bank bonds, 250 to 300 billion in government bonds and over 200 billion in collateralized debt obligations issued by firms.

Draghi told the European Parliament: "The pressure that bond markets will be experiencing is really very, very significant if not unprecedented."

However, Draghi confirmed the ECB will not buy up more government bonds to ease the crisis in Europe and he stressed the euro currency will survive.

A Wall Street Journal report said on Monday that peripheral euro zone countries are going to extraordinary measures to prop up ailing banks including encouraging lenders to buy up property in Italy and the government borrowing from bank pension funds in Portugal to help public sector firms repay bank loans.

These unorthodox methods give some indication of the lengths European governments will go to in order to avoid further bank bailouts, the newspaper claimed.

Greece will auction 1 billion euros of three-month bonds on Tuesday as it continues a plan of monthly short-term debt sales.

The settlement date will fall on Friday December 23 and only primary dealers will be allowed to participate with no commission paid.

The Hungarian parliament will vote on the country's 2012 budget on Tuesday after Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged last week to revise the draft budget due to weaker growth forecasts.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will be officially sworn in on Tuesday following his victory in parliamentary elections on November 20.

Kweku Adoboli will attend a plea hearing in London on Tuesday following his arrest in September for alleged rogue trading while working for Swiss bank UBS and at London's High Court a hearing continues as the City of London Corporation attempts to evict the Occupy London movement from outside St Paul's Cathedral.

The British House of Commons will break for its Christmas recess on Tuesday with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg taking questions from 11:30am London time.

German PPI data for November will be available from 7:00am UK time.