Europe seen higher; Oil falls further

European shares are expected to open slightly higher Tuesday despite a continuing fall in oil prices that’s weighed on market sentiment elsewhere.

The FTSE is seen higher by 1 point at 6,418, the DAX up 12 points at 9,485 and the French CAC up 12 points at 4,123.

Markets are closed in Austria, Finland, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Lebanon, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece and Sweden for the Epiphany holiday.

European shares look set to buck the downtrend seen in U.S. and Asia markets. Mounting anxiety over the relentless fall in oil prices and growth concerns over China dragged Asian stock indices to new lows on Tuesday.

In early Asian trade, U.S crude futures stood little changed around $50 a barrel, trading near the lowest level since April 2009 hit on Monday, as demand concerns and over-supply weighed on prices. Brent crude gained 13 cents and was at $53.24 a barrel by Tuesday morning after dropping to a low of $52.66 on Monday.

China’s Shanghai Composite index pulled back 0.5 percent at in the early afternoon, retreating from a more than five-year high reached earlier in the day, despite data showing the mainland’s services sector grew at its fastest pace in three months in December.

Investors will be keeping an eye on the euro zone purchasing manager’s index data, released at 09:00 a.m. GMT, which should give further indication on the health of manufacturing in the single currency bloc. Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets U.K., said in a note Tuesday that the “economic data is likely to reinforce the weakness at play in the euro area.”

 Varchev Traders

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