London stocks slipped in early trade on Wednesday as investors erred on the side of caution ahead of the latest UK inflation data and a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve.
At 0845 BST, the FTSE 100 was 0.3% lower at 7,680.42, while the pound was down 0.2% against the dollar
and the euro at 1.3347 and 1.1363, respectively.
The Fed is due to make its latest policy announcement after the close of UK markets, at 1900 BST. With market participants expecting the central bank to hike rates by 25 basis points for the second time this year, the main event will be the quarterly economic projections and the press conference with chair Jerome Powell.
"The jury is still out whether the US central bank will hike interest rates in September and December or just December. The press conference could provide clues as to what the Fed will do at the back end of the year," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
Before that though, the main focus will be UK inflation data for May at 0930 BST.
The headline annual CPI rate is expected to rise to 2.5% from 2.4%, while the core CPI rate is seen holding steady at 2.1%.
"The British worker has been enjoying a rise in real income lately, as the average earnings have been outstripping the cost of living. Yesterday we saw average earnings grow at a slower pace, and a rise in the cost of living would be a double negative for consumers," said Madden.
In corporate news, Dixons Carphone slumped after revealing that the card data of 5.9m of its customers has been accessed by hackers, with records on 1.2m customers containing non-financial personal data also accessed.
Just Eat was under the cosh after rival Deliveroo said it will allow restaurants to use their own riders for orders made through its takeaway food app, upping its available outlets by 50%. Until now, only restaurants that agreed to use Deliveroo's riders could be listed on the app.
Glencore was on the way up after saying that its Katanga Mining subsidiary has settled a legal dispute with its state-owned joint venture partner in Democratic Republic of the Congo that threatened to dissolve Katanga's DRC operating subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company.
WPP was also higher despite the advertising giant's annual shareholder meeting later in the day expected to see some tough questions for the board after the departure of boss Martin Sorrell shrouded the company in controversy. Chairman Roberto Quarta is under pressure, with shareholder advisory groups Glass Lewis and PIRC recommending against his re-election because of the lack of disclosure around the Sorrell investigation.
Outside the FTSE 350, British luxury brand Mulberry was in the red after it posted a drop in annual profit on the back of start-up costs for its operations in Asia and announced a new business agreement in South Korea.
Tate & Lyle was weaker after Jefferies downgraded the stock to 'hold', but TalkTalk surged on an upgrade to 'buy' at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,692.88 -0.14%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,244.35 0.01%
techMARK (TASX) 3,547.18 -0.10%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 567.60p 2.86%
Glencore (GLEN) 391.90p 2.16%
WPP (WPP) 1,266.50p 1.60%
Informa (INF) 822.80p 1.06%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,824.00p 0.98%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 4,225.00p 0.93%
Experian (EXPN) 1,877.00p 0.91%
Halma (HLMA) 1,437.00p 0.91%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,767.50p 0.86%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,813.58p 0.85%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Just Eat (JE.) 795.40p -6.42%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,170.50p -2.25%
Sky (SKY) 1,339.50p -1.36%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,671.00p -1.07%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,728.00p -1.05%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,338.00p -1.04%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 301.50p -0.92%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,573.00p -0.89%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 560.40p -0.88%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,808.00p -0.82%
FTSE 250 - Risers
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 125.30p 6.55%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 523.80p 1.67%
On The Beach Group (OTB) 509.48p 1.29%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 597.50p 1.27%
Diploma (DPLM) 1,260.00p 1.20%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 418.12p 1.09%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 432.60p 1.07%
888 Holdings (888) 291.60p 1.04%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,075.50p 0.99%
Virgin Money Holdings (UK) (VM.) 352.00p 0.95%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 186.05p -5.92%
Superdry (SDRY) 1,189.88p -2.47%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,382.00p -2.40%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 353.50p -2.19%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 576.50p -1.79%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 1,959.20p -1.41%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 662.40p -1.13%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 228.40p -1.13%
Provident Financial (PFG) 630.40p -1.07%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 389.80p -1.07%