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Europe bucks fears over oil and Greece

Europe shares are expected to open higher on Wednesday despite investor concerns over declining oil prices and the political uncertainty posed by elections in Greece later in the month.

The FTSE is seen higher by 14 points at 6,380, the DAX up 19 points at 9,488 and the French CAC up 12 points at 4,095.

European shares are expected to follow the trend set by Asian equity markets on Wednesday, despite disappointing data from the euro zone on Tuesday that showed services and manufacturing activity in the region was weaker than initially expected.

On Wednesday, markets are awaiting more indications on the state of economic health in the region as euro zone inflation and unemployment figures will be published at 10:00 a.m. GMT.

Markets are still jittery on the prospect of Greek elections at the end of January, in which an anti-European party could win. Adding to recent speculation that Germany is ready for Greece to leave the euro zone, tabloid newspaper Bild reported on Tuesday that Germany was planning for this possibility, citing unnamed government sources.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting London on Wednesday to meet Prime Minister David Cameron where she is expected to concede little ground to Cameron who wants to curb EU migration, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile in the commodity markets, oil remains the dominant worry with prices near more-than-five-year lows on the supply glut and lack of demand. Brent crude futures were trading at $50.82 a barrel early Wednesday morning, down 15 cents from their previous close, and U.S. futures remained under $48 at $47.97 per barrel.

Investors will be watching for the U.S. ADP employment figures for December due later Wednesday, which give a good indication of employment in the private sector.


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