European equities were set to fall on Tuesday, snapping a three-session winning run after a series of rating downgrades on U.S. financial institutions fuelled worries over the outlook for the world's biggest economy.
Financial bookmakers, or spread betters, in London expected Britain's FTSE 100 index to open between 34 and 36 points lower, the German DAX 43 to 47 points lower and the French CAC 40 42 to 43 points lower.
Stocks fell on Wall Street on Monday, after brokerages downgraded banks and credit card firms on signs consumers are falling behind on debt payments. The mood was also dampened by data showing slower-than-expected factory orders.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.2 percent on Monday, closing at 1,356.20 points, led by industrial and automotive stocks.