LONDON: European shares were set to fall on Tuesday, tracking Asian markets lower and after Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis to the highest level, while investor concerns about the earnings season are also likely to weigh.
Financial spread betters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down 30 to 34 points or 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX to open down 43 to 45 points or 0.6 percent and France's CAC-40 to open down 32 points or 0.8 percent.
Investors are likely to be cautious after Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis, putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Japan's
Nikkei tumbled 2.1 percent on worries about the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on company results.
Meanwhile, in Wall Street overnight, stocks mostly fell on investor concerns over the impact higher raw material costs as well the effects of Japan's earthquake on the earnings season.
Adding to the worries in the United States was news after the bell that Alcoa Inc. revenue missed forecasts, sending its shares down 3.6 percent in post-market trade.
Looking ahead investors are likely to watch UK March inflation data, with analysts forecasting it to be steady at 4.4 percent, though another surprise rise would fuel talk of an imminent rate hike.
Before the UK inflation data, investors will watch German CPI figures at 0600 GMT and the German ZEW index will at 0900 GMT.