European shares were seen opening flat Tuesday as crucial talks between Greece and its international lenders continue for another day, tempering gains in Asian indices overnight.
The FTSE 100 is seen higher by 6 points, the DAX higher by 9 points and the CAC 40 up by just 3 points.
European Union officials are stressing that the conditions as part of the bailout for the stricken country must be met by the middle of the month. Talks are expected to continue Tuesday, even as the reforms are being opposed by large numbers of the Greek people. Protestors took to the streets, and the country faces a 24-hour strike by some of its biggest labor unions on Tuesday.
UBS posted fourth-quarter net earnings of 393 million Swiss francs, short of a Reuters consensus forecast of 737 million Swiss francs. The bank also warned that global economic concerns could generate headwinds for revenue growth in the current quarter.
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast an improvement of earnings in the first half of 2012 after a weak end to last year. The company said its core profit (EBITDA) in the fourth quarter fell 29 percent to $1.71 billion, roughly in line with the forecasts.
In the US, President Obama tightened the screws on Iran by announcing further sanctions designed to freeze the assets of Iranian banks. This will enable banks to seize assets which until now had been refused and turned back.
Tuesday marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty which created the European Union, paving the way for closer economic and political ties between those countries.