European Stocks To Open Higher; Earnings in Focus

European shares are set to rise for a third straight session on Tuesday, mirroring gains in Asia and on Wall Street, on expectations that more U.S. and European companies will post strong earnings results.

Traders sit in front of their screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt/Munich, western Germany.
Martin Oeser | AFP | Getty Images
Traders sit in front of their screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt/Munich, western Germany.

European shares edged up on Monday, as heavyweight miners rose on strong metals prices and with defensive drugmakers and tobacco firms gaining on concerns over the impact of rising inflation on growth prospects.

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is set to launch its debut bond issue to raise funds to provide financial support to Ireland on Tuesday.

European ministers agreed to provide financial assistance for Ireland at the end of November. The country will receive 11.7 billion euros in the first quarter of 2011.

Early elections were looming in Ireland as the political fallout from the country's financial meltdown continued. Ireland's political heavyweight, the Fianna Fail party, looked set to suffer heavy losses when the country heads to the poll

Spain's Treasury said plans to issue between 2 and 3 billion euros of 3- and 6-month Treasury bills on Tuesday.

Spanish officials are finalizing plans for a second round of recapitalization for troubled Spanish savings banks and could announce a new plan for the so-called cajas as early as Friday.

French finance minister Christine Lagarde told CNBC on Monday that the new stress tests European banks will undergo this year will have to be more credible.

Last year in July, 91 banks in the European Union went through stress tests but only seven of them failed, prompting many critics to say the tests were not tough enough.

On Tuesday, investors will turn their attention to a preliminary estimate for UK economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 and December public sector finance figures.

Also on the agenda is the Gfk German consumer climate survey for February, based on approximately 2,000 consumer interviews,which details consumers’ spending plans.