European shares were called to open flat on Thursday, with investors taking a cautious stance ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.
There are increasing concerns that divisions will lead to little in the way of progress in bringing a resolution to the ongoing debt crisis.
The FTSE was called to open higher by 6 points at 5533, the DAX was seen opening lower by 4 points at 6230 and the CAC 40 was expected to open 7 points higher at 3070.
European leaders go into the summit openly divided , with German chancellor Angela Merkel likely to find herself opposed to her French and Italian counterparts over the issue of solving the currency bloc’s fundamental problems.
Merkel is expected to call for budget controls to be put in place ahead of any deal on debt sharing favored by France, while Italy and Spain are expected to demand financial assistance to bring their borrowing costs down.
Investors fear one or both countries may need a bailout similar to Greece by the fall.
Italy's borrowing costs could be driven further above 6 percent at a bond auction on Thursday after Merkel brushed aside the country's plea for emergency action to steady debt markets on Wednesday.
Italy is offering up to 5.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in five- and 10-year bonds just hours ahead of the summit where prime minister Mario Monti will keep pushing for joint moves to contain government funding costs.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page