European equities edged higher on Tuesday, with investors eyeing a Spanish debt auction and German data for fresh clues on the depth of the euro zone crisis, a nd a US Federal Reserve meeting for possible market-friendly stimulus action.
Spain is set to pay record prices for borrowing when it auctions 12- and 18-month bills on Tuesday and longer dated paper on Thursday, while ZEW economic sentiment in Germany - the euro zone's biggest and arguably strongest economy - is expected to slip to a five-month low.
“The focus is now clearly on Spain again,” said Francois Duhen, strategist at CM-CIC Securities in Paris, adding that the auction would likely bring “bad news” for the stock market.
“The disappointment can still be more acute than it is today (The Fed) could give a short-term boost. But would I play this? No, because I would say the probability is too low.”
The FTSEurofirst 300 added 0.3 percent to 996.31 points by 09:05 SA time.
The US Fed starts a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. - Reuters