LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to edge higher on Tuesday after slipping to a three-week low in the previous session, unfazed by a shutdown of the U.S. government that investors hope will be resolved soon, and helped by a positive session in Asia. The first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years put up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave from midnight, threatening to hamper an economic recovery that had been growing in strength. But analysts were optimistic that the two sides would get back to the table soon, with conservative Republicans facing polls showing they will be blamed for the shutdown. "The U.S. shutdown is a central point for the markets, but as long as the hope for just a temporary shutdown exists, it will not be a strong burden for equities," Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich, said. At 0632 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.1 to 0.4 percent higher. The FTSEurofirst 300 hit a three-week low on Monday, although it closed off lows on news from Italy that some senators from Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party were ready to break away, dealing a blow to his plans to topple Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government. The FTSEurofirst closed 0.6 percent lower at 1,247.14 points. However the index rose more than 8 percent during the third quarter despite political wrangling in the United States. "A U.S. government shutdown potentially places more pressure on the political parties to negotiate a solution with regard to the national debt ceiling, a more significant issue," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. "In addition, news from Asia, particularly Japan, has been positive. The tankan survey pleased, whilst the government's go ahead on its sales tax appears to signal confidence in the recovery. Japanese big manufacturers' sentiment improved in the three months to September for a third straight quarter, the central bank's "tankan" survey showed, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had decided to raise the sales tax from April 1 to 8 percent from 5 percent to sustain the country's public finances. ---------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0631 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,681.55 -0.6 % -10.2 NIKKEI 14,484.7 0.2 % 28.92 2 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 536.23 0.4 % 2.16 EUR/USD 1.3552 0.21 % 0.0028 USD/JPY 98.12 -0.09 % -0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.645 -- 0.03 10-YR BUND YLD 1.786 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,333.6 0.5 % $6.67 1 US CRUDE $101.99 -0.33 % -0.34 > Dollar steady as U.S. govt shutdown to start > Dollar firms ahead of U.S. government shutdown deadline > Nikkei rebounds after strong BOJ tankan; economic stimulus in focus > U.S. bonds edge up as government shutdown looms > Dollar firms ahead of U.S. government shutdown deadline > bides time as U.S. government nears shutdown > London copper flat on China holidays, U.S. deadlock > Brent slips below $108 as U.S. govt begins shutdown COMPANY NEWS WOLSELEY The plumbing supplies group said on Tuesday it would return 300 million pounds ($486 million) to shareholders after it posted a 10.7 percent rise in full-year trading profit. It also said revenue growth rates in the new financial year have been similar to the fourth quarter of the previous year. UNILEVER The consumer goods company warned after market close on Monday that a slowdown in its emerging markets accelerated in the third quarter and it now expects underlying sales growth of just 3 to 3.5 percent in the period. BP In the frantic days after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP lied about how much oil was leaking from its Macondo well and took too long to cap it, plaintiffs' lawyers said on Monday at the opening of the second phase of the company's trial. TESCO Britain's Tesco put its U.S. grocery store chain into bankruptcy on Monday as part of a plan to sell most of the 167 stores to a private equity firm led by billionaire Ron Burkle. TELENOR Norwegian telecoms group Telenor finished its share buyback programme and will cancel 15.17 million shares or about 1 percent of all outstanding shares, it said on Tuesday. For more on the company, click VIVENDI French media group Vivendi said on Tuesday that its Brazilian GVT subsidiary had started negotiations with satellite group EchoStar Technologies LLC to set up a joint-venture for pay-TV services in Brazil. PUBLICIS French advertising group Publicis said it had finalised a deal to increase its equity stake to 51 percent in its long-term Romanian partner agencies Leo Burnett & Target, Starcom MediaVest Group, Optimedia, The Practice and iLeo. SIEMENS The conglomerate is a possible bidder to buy Greek rolling stock operating company ROSCO, a source close to the talks said on Monday, making it the first major German company to take an interest in the country's asset sales programme. Related news CGG French geophysical services said on Tuesday it had won a contract for a large seismic exploration program offshore West Africa. Financial details were not disclosed. EDF Power group EDF has started exclusive talks with energy services group Dalkia France to buy Citelum, a company specialising in urban lighting equipment, Le Figaro said on Tuesday. ROCHE U.S. health regulators expanded the approval of Roche Holding AG's breast cancer drug Perjeta and will now allow its use to help shrink tumors prior to surgery, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday.