A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Kevin Buckland

An underwhelming kick-off to China's eagerly watched week-long annual parliament, the National People's Congress, plus a weak Wall Street close overnight kept risk assets on the back foot on Tuesday, with the very notable exception of bitcoin.

A more than 2% tumble in Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was a good barometer of the mood after Beijing kept its 2024 growth target at a modest 5% and refrained from big-bang fiscal stimulus in the gathering's day-one deluge of policy headlines.

Most shares traded in the mainland rose, however, amid suspected state-backed buying of exchange-traded funds that track the blue-chip CSI 300 index. Trading volume in those funds surged in the morning session.

Japan's Nikkei also took the opportunity to regroup after marking an all-time peak at the start of the week.

And what a week it is shaping up to be, with Fed Chair Jay Powell's semi-annual testimony to Congress, a parade of top-tier U.S. data culminating in the monthly payrolls report on Friday, an ECB policy decision on Thursday, and the UK budget on Wednesday, to name just some top picks.

Coming up imminently is a roll-out of PMI readings from around Europe, along with euro zone producer price figures.

The overarching global focus, though, has been the Fed, and the latest rumblings are for later rate cuts, with Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic saying there's no pressure to ease amid risks of sticky inflation.

That helped to power bitcoin to a two-year high at $68,828, just $72 shy of its all-time peak, and sent bullion to its highest close ever overnight.

The traditional currency complex has been very subdued by contrast, with the dollar keeping largely within well-worn ranges against the euro, pound and yen.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

-UK, euro zone, Germany, France, US PMIs (Feb)

-Euro zone producer prices (Jan)

-US factory orders (Jan)

(By Kevin Buckland; Editing by Edmund Klamann)