By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher Tuesday ahead of the start of another round of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey this week.
Ukrainian and Russian negotiators are set later Tuesday to meet in Turkey for face-to-face talks, the first direct talks between the two sides in more than two weeks.
However, despite the stock market gains, there appears little hope of a breakthrough, with Kyiv seeking a ceasefire without compromising on territory or sovereignty while Russia continues to make territorial demands, including Crimea, which Moscow seized and annexed in 2014, and some eastern territories.
Ahead of the talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday urged Western nations to toughen sanctions quickly against Russia, including an oil embargo, something a number of European countries have been reluctant to impose given their reliance on Russian energy supplies.
U.S. and German government officials are set to meet later this week with energy industry executives to discuss ways to boost alternative supplies for Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy which has been reliant on Russian oil and gas.
Looking at the European economic data slate, the GfK German consumer climate index fell to -15.5 for April, down from a revised -8.5 the previous month, as the war in Ukraine and rising commodity prices weigh on sentiment.
Later in the session, the Bank of England is set to publish its latest Quarterly Bulletin , which will be studied carefully as the U.K. central bank continues to increase interest rates.
In corporate news, Sanofi (PA: SASY ) (NASDAQ: SNY ) will be in the spotlight after the French healthcare group raised its peak sales target for eczema-treatment product Dupixent to more than 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion).
Oil prices retreated Tuesday, continuing the previous session’s weakness on fears that a surge in Covid-19 cases in China will hit demand from the world’s top crude importer and ahead of the Ukraine/Russia peace talks.
The city of Shanghai, China’s financial hub, remains under a two-stage, nine-day lockdown to curb rising numbers of Covid cases.
Sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine have disrupted oil supplies from the world’s second largest crude exporter, sending prices to 14-year highs earlier this month.
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