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Morning Brief

European shares are seen opening lower Monday as positive sentiment from last week’s European Central Bank liquidity boost begins to fade.

In Russia, a tearful Vladimir Putin was declared the winner of the presidential election on Sunday by securing around 62 percent of the vote. The run-up to the election had been marred by large-scale protests. Opponents to Putin have complained that fraud has been widespread and have planned protests for Monday. The result hands him another six-year term in power.

In the US, the Republican presidential nomination battle steps up a notch as candidates prepare for “Super Tuesday”. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Mitt Romney tied with Rick Santorum at 32 percent support from voters in the Ohio primary. It’s being seen as crucial for Santorum to win the crucial state after losing to Romney in last week’s Michigan and Arizona primaries.

A German government spokeswoman dismissed a report in Der Spiegel magazine stating that the “troika” – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – had been pressed by the German government to delete a passage from its report stating that a third bailout for Greece may be necessary.

US president Barack Obama will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House with talks between the two likely to be dominated by the topic of Iran’s nuclear program and the prospect of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, which Israel believes are being developed for weapons.

In bond auction news, both France and the Netherlands will tender shorter-dated bonds. France will tender between 7 billion and 8 billion euros ($9.24 billion and $10.55 billion) of weekly T-bills, and the Netherlands will tender between 3 and 4 billion euros ($3.96 billion and $5.28 billion) in 3- and 7-month bills.

Glencore releases its preliminary results later Monday, its first since announcing its deal with Xstrata.