Shares Set for Weak Open, Earnings in Focus

European equities are set for a weak opening on Tuesday with focus on trading updates from UK retailers and big U.S. earnings as markets wrestle with worries over U.S. economic growth and credit woes.

On the macro economic front, the first estimate of Germany's 2007 gross domestic production and the ZEW investor sentiment is due later in the day.

Citigroup is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss but investors will focus on everything else Citi has in the works, from raising billions of dollars in new capital to slashing more jobs.

Chip equipment maker Intel unveils earnings after the close of U.S. trading hours. Samsung Electronics reported a smaller-than-expected 7 percent dip in quarterly profit.

Ailing British bank Northern Rock faces a key shareholder meeting that could restrict its ability to sell assets and issue shares as possible nationalization looms.

Financial bookmakers expect Britain's FTSE 100 index to open between 5 and 14 points lower, Germany's DAX is seen down 15 to 33 points and France's CAC 40 is set to ease 13 to 15 points.