European markets to open mixed as investors monitor Draghi speech, UK politics

European markets were seen mixed Tuesday as investors await a speech from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, ahead of this week’s crucial U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

Early calls had the FTSE 100 up around 5 points at 7,362 and the DAX down around 19 points at 12,067, as Lufthansa’s Monday profit warning continues to weigh on the German benchmark. France’s CAC 40 was expected to open around 4 points lower at 5,387, according to IG data.

Central banks are in focus this week. Draghi is set to speak at 9 a.m. BST, while Fed is scheduled to start a two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday stateside, when investors will look for clues about potential rate cuts.

Asian markets were mostly higher Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index adding 0.7% while only Japanese indexes slipped into the red.

Investors will be monitoring simmering geopolitical tensions after acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced Monday that 1,000 troops will be deployed to the Middle East, citing concerns about a threat from Iran. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the U.S. have mounted since last Thursday, when two oil tankers were attacked, which Washington has blamed on Tehran

Back in Europe, the six remaining Conservative party hopefuls to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a second round of voting by secret ballot Tuesday, with Brexiteer Boris Johnson the clear frontrunner despite refusing to participate in Sunday’s live television debate.

German chipmaker Infineon has launched an accelerated capital increase to raise 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) towards its planned acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor.

Swedbank announced Monday that it had suspended the CEO and CFO of its Estonian business following a money-laundering investigation. Sweden’s oldest bank has gone through a turbulent period since being linked to money laundering at Danske Bank which has said its Estonia branch was used to move 200 billion euros of suspicious funds between 2007 and 2015.

Source: CNBC