BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks look set to open marginally higher on Tuesday after French presidential front-runners Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron repeatedly locked horns in the campaign's first televised debate on Monday night, a month before the country goes to the polls.
According to the poll for the BFMTV broadcaster, 29 percent of French believe Macron has been the most persuasive during the debate.
The dollar held steady after a four-day drop and oil prices ticked higher on bargain hunting ahead of industry data on inventories, while gold prices eased a little bit from two-week highs hit in the previous session.
Asian shares are mostly higher after Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans backed two more interest rate hikes this year, reinforcing recent comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that further rate increases would only be 'gradual.'
The day's economic calendar remains light, with U.K. data on consumer and producer prices as well as public sector finance slated for release later in the day.
In corporate news, British retailer Tesco announced that its International CEO Trevor Masters will leave the company at end of May after 38 years.
Novartis reported new data suggesting that Cosentyx may modify the course of moderate-to-severe psoriasis leading to long-term, treatment-free skin clearance.
Carbon products maker SGL Carbon narrowed its fiscal 2016 net loss to 34 million euros from 67.5 million euros last year.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended a range-bound session marginally lower amid little economic or corporate news. The Nasdaq Composite inched up marginally while the Dow slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.2 percent.
European stocks closed on a flat note on Monday after G20 finance ministers failed to agree on a commitment to keep global trade free and open and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May finally revealed that she will trigger Article 50 on March 29.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index declined 0.2 percent after three days of gains. The German DAX dropped 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.3 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX