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European Shares Set Climb, Eyes on Earnings

European shares looked set to open higher on Wednesday, tracking gains in the United States and Asia on the back of a fall in the crude oil price to a six-week low below $128 a barrel.

Financial spreadbetters saw Britain's FTSE 100 opening 34 to 45 points higher, Germany's DAX 38 to 48 points higher and the French CAC 40 33 to 34 points higher.

Corporate earnings are expected be in the focus, with stock market heavyweights such as mining group BHP Billiton, pharmaceuticals maker GlaxoSmithKline and car maker Volkswagen among European companies scheduled to release quarterly reports.

Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.35 percent on Tuesday as consumer stocks like Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart and airlines -- all sensitive to fuel costs -- gained as oil prices tumbled.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.4 percent on Tuesday.