European Factors to Watch-European, UK shares seen higher
(Adds more company news items)
LONDON Dec 22 (Reuters) - European and UK stock markets were expected to open higher on Monday, buoyed by gains in the United States and Asia, although traders were also expected to keep a wary eye on political developments in Greece.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract rose 0.6 percent. Germany's DAX futures rose 0.5 percent, France's CAC futures advanced 0.4 percent while financial spreadbetters at IG expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open up by 32 points, or 0.5 percent.
On Wall Street on Friday, U.S. shares rose, with the S&P 500 coming within a few points of its closing record high. The S&P has risen 5 percent since Wednesday to log its best three-day gain since 2011, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would be "patient" on raising benchmark U.S. interest rates, depending on domestic growth and inflation.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras offered on Sunday to bring pro-European independents into the government and hold new elections in late 2015 if lawmakers back him to elect a new president.
Samaras' surprise announcement came two days ahead of the second round of voting for president and follows a disappointing result for the government in the first round last week when it won less support than expected.
The head of state is a largely ceremonial post but if the 300-member parliament does not choose a president by the third vote on Dec. 29, elections will have to be held by early February, potentially putting negotiations over Greece's bailout at risk.