UK stocks opened flat on Tuesday morning ahead of some key economic indicators from the Eurozone.
On today's agenda, there will be unemployment figures in Italy, German factory orders as well as consumer confidence, jobless and retail sales data for the Eurozone as a whole.
Market analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said to expect increased levels of volatility this week ahead of the start of fourth-quarter reporting earnings season.
"The last couple of earnings seasons have been overshadowed by events in the Eurozone and the US. What we've seen over the last six months is a stock market rally that has largely ignored company performances and instead been driven by unlimited central bank stimulus and an increase in risk appetite and one disaster after another is averted.
"We're now going into an earnings season with sky high stock prices, a recent history of lower revenues with profits driven by cost cutting and low expectations. With nothing else to distract us, this could be the perfect recipe for heightened volatility in the markets and a potential correction in equity prices that has been long overdue," Erlam said.
Investors will be keeping close eyes on decisions from central banks this week. Neither the Bank of England (BoE) nor the European Central Bank (ECB) are expected to make a move this week.
Vodafone gains; insurance stocks drop
Telecoms titan Vodafone was a high riser after Verizon Communication's CEO said that a purchase of Vodafone's stake in their joint venture Verizon Wireless is feasible, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Insurance peers Standard Life, Legal & General and RSA Insurance were heavy fallers in the opening hour after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its ratings for all three groups.
Production has started on time and on budget at BG Group's Sapinhoá field offshore Brazil, the natural gas and oil explorer announced this morning, causing shares
Power systems giant Rolls-Royce edged higher after saying it has acquired American business PKMJ Technical Services in an attempt to accelerate growth in the important nuclear services market. The company also said that it has won a £26m order for four Rolls-Royce UT 771 CDL offshore supply vessels to be built at a Chinese shipyard for a Hong Kong owner.
Consumer packaging giant Rexam was slightly higher after revealing details of its cash return following Personal Care unit disposal, with shareholders in for a higher-than-expected £395m windfall. The firm had initially pencilled in a cash return of around £370m.
Mining giant Anglo American gained after appointing Mark Cutifani of AngloGold Ashant as CEO to replace Cynthia Carroll. Cutifani will take the reins in April with a pay packet worth around £2.38m, including salary and bonuses.
Canadian miner Barrick Gold has abandoned plans to sell its majority stake in London-listed African Barrick Gold (ABG) to a Chinese buyer, causing shares in the latter to plummet this morning.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 164.25p +2.88%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,034.50p +1.70%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,932.00p +0.94%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 791.50p +0.83%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 252.80p +0.76%
BT Group (BT.A) 244.70p +0.70%
Centrica (CNA) 335.90p +0.60%
Carnival (CCL) 2,412.00p +0.50%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 803.50p +0.50%
Pearson (PSON) 1,215.00p +0.41%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
TUI Travel (TT.) 276.60p -3.49%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,460.00p -2.11%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,247.00p -1.89%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,305.00p -1.29%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 125.30p -1.10%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 149.70p -1.06%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 811.50p -0.98%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,758.00p -0.96%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,820.00p -0.94%
Evraz (EVR) 271.40p -0.88%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Galliford Try (GFRD) 798.00p +2.70%
Bumi (BUMI) 294.80p +2.18%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 198.50p +1.79%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 210.00p +1.60%
Interserve (IRV) 404.60p +1.53%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 368.20p +1.24%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 597.50p +1.10%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,357.00p +1.04%
Raven Russia Ltd (RUS) 66.00p +0.92%
Cranswick (CWK) 882.00p +0.92%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 354.40p -20.18%
Debenhams (DEB) 110.70p -5.47%
Hays (HAS) 83.30p -2.97%
Michael Page International (MPI) 403.80p -2.63%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 627.00p -2.49%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 694.00p -2.39%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 232.10p -2.19%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 324.20p -2.05%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 329.50p -1.99%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 517.00p -1.90%