European Shares Set to Tick Higher

European shares are set to tick higher on Friday after two days of sharp losses, taking comfort from gains on Wall Street even though Asian stocks markets fell on concerns over the strength of the U.S. economy.

Financial bookmakers expect London's FTSE 100 to open 9 to 13 points higher, Frankfurt's DAX to be unchanged to up 17 points and Paris' CAC-40 to ease 10 points to up 6 points.

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday following news that Bank of America is in advanced talks to buy struggling mortgage lender CountrywideFinancial. However, most Asian markets fell, with Japan's Nikkei 225 Average down 1.9 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed down 0.85 percent at 1,436.77 points on Thursday to hit its lowest point so far this year after the European Central Bank reinforced its willingness to raise interest rates to counter inflation.