Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open in a cautious manner Tuesday, as investors digest the latest Chinese trade data ahead of the latest U.S. inflation report and the Bank of England’s policy-setting meeting. At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France traded largely flat and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.1%, with the U.K. financial markets returning from a public holiday. European equities have benefited from generally positive earnings this quarter to date, with results from the banking sector showing a degree of strength, especially given the ongoing turmoil across the pond. UBS (SIX:UBSG) said on Tuesday that Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Koerner will join the executive board of the combined bank once it closes its government-prompted takeover of its Swiss rival. There are more earnings due Tuesday from the likes of Fresenius (ETR:FREG) and Direct Line (LON:DLGD), while Daimler Truck (ETR:DTGGe) confirmed strong growth in first quarter sales as supply chain and demand improve. That said, attention may well be directed elsewhere, with investors studying the latest trade data from China, a major market for the eurozone’s largest exporters. Data released earlier Tuesday showed China's imports contracted sharply in April, falling by an annual 7.9%, while exports grew by 8.5% in the same period after an unexpected surge of just under 15% in March. This points to an uneven recovery from the second-largest economy in the world at a slower pace despite the lifting of COVID curbs. Investors are also likely to adopt a cautious stance ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. inflation report. The U.S. Federal Reserve delivered its tenth straight interest rate increase last week, as widely expected. It also indicated that it may pause its aggressive tightening campaign at its next meeting in June, but stressed the data dependency of its decision making. The European Central Bank also increased interest rates last week, and speeches from board members Philip Lane, Isabel Schnabel later Tuesday will be studied for clues of future action. However, the central bank focus this week will be on the Bank of England, which meets on Thursday. Inflation in the U.K. is running at 10.1%, the highest of all the major markets in Europe, and this is expected to push the policymakers to approve another hike of 25 basis points. Oil prices edged lower Tuesday, handing back some of the previous session’s strong gains in cautious trading ahead of the much anticipated U.S. inflation report. By 02:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% lower at $72.50 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.8% to $76.35. Both contracts had settled up more than 2% in the previous trading session. Additionally, gold futures traded flat at $2,033.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0992.