European Stocks to Open Higher After Irish Bailout

European shares were indicated higher Monday, expected to reverse some of last week's losses after the European Union agreed an 85 billion euros ($113 billion) bailout for Ireland at the weekend.

Sharon Lorimer

European shares fell on Friday, on persistent concern the peripheral euro zone debt crisis could result in Portugal becoming the next country to seek financial help, with banking stocks particularly hard hit.

The promise of a bailout for Ireland last week failed to put a
firewall in place and the financial markets' attention moved on to Portugal and Spain, which are viewed as the next weakest links among euro zone sovereign issuers.

Both countries denied on Friday they would need a bailout.

British Airways and Iberia holdshareholder meetings in London and Madrid on Monday to approve the merger between the two airlines. The deal is expected to be finalized on Jan. 21.

Economic data due on Monday includes Spanish retail sales for October as well as a flash estimate of consumer price inflation for the country for November.

The European Commission releases November euro zone retail trade figures and business and consumer surveys for November.

It will also publish its autumn economic forecasts for gross domestic product, inflation, employment and public finances among other indicators for all 27 European Union countries on Monday.

Also on the agenda is a bond auction in Belgium, which has increasingly come under attackby financial markets.