European stocks looked set for a weaker start on Tuesday, ending a three-day winning streak as investors pause ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting that is expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday.
Financial bookmakers, or spread betters, in London expected Britain's FTSE 100 index to open between 17 and 19 points lower, the German DAX down 24 to 32 points and the French CAC 40 15 to 22 points lower.
The two-day Fed meeting -- due to start later in the day -- is widely expected to conclude with another cut to the 4.75 percent Fed funds rate to prevent declining house prices and tighter credit from tipping the U.S. economy into recession.
Energy stocks may come to the fore again after oil prices faded from their latest record high as investors took profits from a rally fuelled by a Mexican supply outage and the spiraling dollar.
U.S. crude fell by 68 cents to $92.85 a barrel after hitting a record high of $93.80 in the previous session.
A slew of corporate earnings from for example the world's largest wealth manager UBS, German car parts supplier Continental, chemicals group BASF will also attract investors' attention.