Europe Stocks Seen Flat; Italy in Focus

European shares are called to open flat Thursday after shares saw no more than small gains overnight in Asia, reflecting concerns about sovereign debt in Europe.

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The FTSE 100 is expected to open lower by 6 points, the DAX is seen higher by 16 points and the CAC is seen down by just 1 point.

Investors will focus on an auction of Italian debt on Thursday morning.

They fear a further rise in yields is not sustainable in the long term and remain nervous about the country's ability to keep funding its debts.

Italy will tender between 4 to 6 billion euros in bonds maturing in 2015, 2020 and 2023 at 10:00 London time.

As the earnings season gets under way once again Nokia saw its share price fall around 19 percent Wednesday after it warned it would post two consecutive quarters of losses this year as it struggles to compete in the tough mobile phone market against giants Apple and Samsung.

Google will report earnings after the bell but analysts expect fairly subdued numbers from the tech giant.

Carrefour, the French grocery retail chain, reported a drop of 0.1 percent in first quarter underlying sales as it vowed to lure back customers with price cutting incentives and Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical posted first quarter sales earlier Thursday of 11 billion Swiss Francs ($12 billion) which were in line with Reuters forecasts.