European stocks are expected to open slightly lower when trade kicks off at 09:00 CET with spread betters calling all three main indexes down.
The FTSE 100 is called lower by 19 points, Germany's DAX is called down by 29 points and the CAC is seen lower by 17 points.
The Spanish market could be the one to follow over the coming trading sessions after last week’s volatility saw billions of euros wiped off the value of stocks on the IBEX 35.
Philips kicks off first quarter earnings season for Europe’s major companies and posted first quarter net profit of 249 million euros beating forecasts.
In Paris the market open will be closely watched for clues on whether investors now believe socialist Francois Hollande will win the French presidency having beaten President Nicolas Sarkozy into second place in the first round vote over the weekend. Sarkozy’s loss and the strong showing for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen make the outcome of May’s 6th’s second round run-off difficult to call and will see markets fret over Hollande’s intensions on the EU treaty and top rate tax closely scrutinized.
Hollande is telling voters he will push for a growth mandate to be included in any EU treaty agreement following the collapse of the Netherland’s coalition government over the weekend.
Having spent weeks discussing ways to push the Dutch budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP the coalition collapsed on Saturday amid bitter disagreement about how to cut spending and raise taxes. CNBC’s Carolin Schober will be live from the Netherland’s looking at the implications on Monday.
Shares to watch include Vodafone and Cable & Wireless Worldwide at the open after the Sunday Telegraph in the UK reported a takeover by Vodafone could be announced this morning.