(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open down slightly on Tuesday, following a mixed performance across Asian markets and ahead of a slew of economic data.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open down 9.9 points, 0.1%, at 7,630.43 on Tuesday. The index of London large-caps closed down 42.17 points, 0.5%, at 7,640.33 on Monday.

There is some unease ahead of a key few days on the fiscal and monetary policy fronts.

A pre-election budget will be the key event in the UK this week. Eyes will be on whether UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will size up some tax relief. In the eurozone, focus will be on the European Central Bank's interest rate decision on Thursday. In the US, the latest jobs report on Friday will be the main event.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.2676 early Tuesday, lower than USD1.2696 at the London equities close on Monday. The euro traded at USD1.0846 early Tuesday, lower than USD1.0858 late Monday. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY150.48, lower versus JPY150.51.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 2.4%.

China set a growth target of around five percent for 2024, an ambitious objective that the leaders of the world's second-largest economy admitted would be a challenge to meet.

Premier Li Qiang formally announced the growth goal, alongside the overall budget and key government policies for 2024, as China's annual National People's Congress kicked off Tuesday.

Addressing thousands of delegates, Li warned that "achieving this year's targets will not be easy".

Business activity in China continued to expand at a steady pace in February, according to survey data.

The Caixin services purchasing managers' index edged down to 52.5 points in February from 52.7 in January. Coming in above the neutral 50-point mark, it shows the sector continued to grow. The figure came in slightly lower than FXStreet-cited consensus of 52.9.

In Japan on Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.1%.

Japan's private sector saw a slight expansion in February, survey data confirmed, driven solely by a strong performance in its services sector. The au Jibun Bank services PMI edged lower to 52.9 points in February from 53.1 points.

Meanwhile, consumer price inflation rebounded in Tokyo in February, according to Japan's Statistics Bureau, though a core reading cooled slightly.

On an annual basis, consumer prices in Tokyo increased 2.6% in February, picking up speed from January's upwardly-revised rise of 1.8%, first reported as 1.6%. The inflation print for Tokyo is considered to be an indicator of Japan's overall inflation rate, and is typically published weeks ahead of the reading for the whole country.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.2%.

In the US on Monday, Wall Street ended [higher/lower], with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.3%, the S&P 500 down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.4%.

Gold was quoted at USD2,115.77 an ounce early Tuesday, lower than USD2,116.16 on Monday. Brent oil was trading at USD82.39 a barrel early Tuesday, lower than USD83.37 late Monday.

Tuesday's economic calendar has a slew of PMI data from the eurozone at 0900 GMT, before the UK at 0930 GMT and US at 1445 GMT.

The local corporate calendar has annual results from baker Greggs and office space provider IWG.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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