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Eurozone crisis live: German chancellor and Italian PM to meet

Stock markets to give up some of Tuesday’s gains while Merkel and Monti meet in Berlin and Sarkozy and Lagarde hold talks in Paris

Today’s agenda

7.49am: Here is today’s agenda:

• German GDP for 2011 at 8am
• Italian third-quarter deficit at 9am
• UK trade for December at 9.30am
• German €4bn auction of 5-year notes at 10.15am
• Merkel and Monti meet in Berlin, press conference at midday
• Sarkozy and Lagarde meet in Paris
• George Osborne appears before TSC on banking reforms at 2.15pm
• IFF’s Charles Dallara in Athens to discuss Greek haircut

All times are GMT

7.30am: Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the European debt crisis. More meetings of European leaders today: German chancellor Angela Merkel meets Italian prime minister Mario Monti in Berlin, with a press conference at midday, while it is French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s turn to meet IMF chief Christine Lagarde after Merkel’s meeting last night.

On the economic data front, German GDP growth is expected to have slipped back to 3% in 2011. It will be interesting to see how much demand Germany sees for 5-year notes at its €4bn auction today, after it sold short-term bills at negative yields recently.

In the UK, the trade deficit looks to have worsened slightly to around £8.4bn, after October’s surprise improvement to £7.6bn. This would still enable the chancellor to meet his targets for 2011.

European stock markets are expected to open slightly lower as worries over the eurozone debt crisis ahead of Spanish and Italian bond auctions later this week outweigh recent optimism about corporate earnings and the US economy.

Financial spreadbetters are calling London’s FTSE 100 index 13 to 16 points down, or 0.3%, while the Dax in Frankfurt is set to open 28 points, or 0.5%, lower, and the CAC in Paris is expected to slip 10 points or 0.3%.

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