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European markets head for lukewarm open as investors look ahead to U.S. inflation data

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LONDON — European stocks are expected to open slightly higher on Tuesday with global investors looking ahead to U.S. inflation data released later this week.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen opening 21 points higher at 7,601, Germany’s DAX 10 points higher at 15,235, France’s CAC 40 up 7 points at 7,021 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 83 points higher at 26,339, according to data from IG.

Global investors are awaiting key data on Thursday with the U.S. Labor Department set to release January’s consumer price index data.

The reading follows a stronger-than-expected January jobs report, which has led to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve could be more aggressive when it comes to hiking rates. The inflation data is expected to show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% gain from one year ago.

Bank of America said Monday that the Fed could implement seven quarter-percentage-point rate hikes this year.

U.S. stock index futures crept higher during overnight trading Monday while shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade, as Chinese markets led losses regionally.

Earnings are due from BNP Paribas, SoftBank and BP on Tuesday, as well as Ocado and Tui.

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— CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed to this market report.

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