European Shares to Open Higher on Chinese Trade Data

European stock market futures pointed to a slightly higher open after Wall Street closed Monday slightly up on the back of commodity related news and China posted its highest trade surplus in four months in April.

Sharon Lorimer

Mining companies were expected to lead gains as metal prices rallied on the back of the Chinese trade data. China posted its largest trade surplus this year turning around a trade deficit for the first quarter.

The economic data came as the US and China prepare for negotiations on trade and relations in Washington.

Investors were also awaiting import/export price data from the US which is due to be published at 12:30GMT, alongside wholesale inventories for March and May’s IBD consumer confidence report both due at 14:00 GMT.

European shares had closed lower on Monday, pressured by falls in banks after Standard & Poor'slowered Greece's credit rating further into junk territoryon growing fears that Athens may need to restructure its debt.

Meanwhile Moody's also announced it put Greece on review for a possible downgrade,

The European debt crisis will remain in focus on Tuesday with little macroeconomic data due to provide direction for stocks.

Earlier on Monday, former Greek finance minister Yiannos Papantonioutold CNBC that speculation over the weekend that Greece could leave the euro was “utterly unrealistic and would be a “catastrophe” for the country and for Europe.

Investors will once again keep a close eye on commoditieson Tuesday after Monday's rebound which followed a sharp selloff last week.

In addition to bargain hunting, gold and silver were also boosted by fears over the ratings cut for Greece.