European markets head for positive open with economic recovery in focus

  • European stocks are expected to open in positive territory on Tuesday, with investor focus on coronavirus developments, economic recovery and earnings.
  • London's FTSE is seen opening 6 points higher at 6,625, Germany's DAX 12 points higher at 13,977,France's CAC 40 up 9 points at 5,780 and Italy's FTSE MIB 36 points higher at 23,027, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open in positive territory on Tuesday, with investor focus on coronavirus developments, economic recovery and earnings.

London's FTSE is seen opening 6 points higher at 6,625, Germany's DAX 12 points higher at 13,977, France's CAC 40 up 9 points at 5,780 and Italy's FTSE MIB 36 points higher at 23,027, according to IG.

European markets look set to buck a more cautious trend seen in Asia and the U.S., with investors in the former monitoring technology stocks regionally after their counterparts declined overnight on Wall Street.

U.K. shares could see more positive trading Tuesday after the British government set out proposals on Monday on how and when it plans to start lifting coronavirus restrictions. The easing will be gradual, but the government plans to have all restrictions lifted by June 21.

Shares of HSBC will be watched Tuesday after the bank reported full-year earnings for 2020, that beat expectations and announced a dividend payout for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bank said its reported profit before tax for 2020 fell 34% from a year ago to $8.78 billion. That beat analysts' expectations of $8.33 billion, according to estimates compiled by HSBC.

In the U.S., attention will be focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday as he delivers his semi-annual testimony on the economy before the Senate Banking Committee. His comments on rates and inflation could determine the market direction for the week.

Steep losses in technology shares dragged down the S&P 500 during the U.S. trading session on Monday, as a continuous rise in bond yields dented the appetite for growth stocks. Meanwhile, investors piled into economically-sensitive names to bet on a comeback.

On Monday, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in a speech that the central bank is "closely monitoring the evolution of long-term nominal bond yields." European sovereign bond yields moved lower in response to her remarks.

Earnings come from Manchester United and IHG Hotels & Resorts on Tuesday. Data releases come from the U.K., with a slew of employment data due. Italy releases industrial orders data for December and final inflation data for the euro zone in January is due.

– CNBC's Yen Nee Lee contributed to this market report.

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