London's blue chips are expected to start the day on the back foot, knocked lower by earnings reports from both Microsoft and Apple after a positive close to yesterday's US session.
Ahead of the release of the Bank of England's minutes from its July meeting, the FTSE 100 is expected to open around 14 points lower than yesterday's close of 6,795.34.
The minutes will detail how the Monetary Policy Committee voted when they decided to keep borrowing costs at a record 0.5% earlier this month.
Governor Mark Carney is also due to speak in Glasgow amid speculation of an interest rate hike in the wake of data pointing to improvement in the UK economy.
Over in the US, the gains were driven by a mix of easing geopolitical tensions and positive data on both inflation and home sales, pushing the S&P 500
to a new all-time high.
In the latest developments in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, it was announced late in the session that the European Union will impose further sanctions against Russia after it allegedly supplied separatists with the missiles that downed flight MH17, according to the Dutch Foreign Minister.
"While EU foreign ministers did manage to agree to pursue the prospect of further measures, or tier three sanctions, in the event Russia failed to co-operate in the future, they failed to agree on any additional measures to the ones already agreed prior to the downing of MH17 last Thursday," CMC Markets's Michael Hewson explained.
"In reality the outcome of yesterday's EU meeting wasn't entirely unpredictable as yesterday's stock market rally will testify, but the reluctance of France and Germany to look beyond narrow economic considerations, to put further economic pressure on Russia, has highlighted the difficulties of delivering any sort of coherent EU foreign policy when countries put narrow self-interest ahead of a long term foreign policy strategy."
In this morning's company news, BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company by revenues, hailed a strong first-half operating performance with annual records achieved across 12 operations and four commodity classes. The company said it remains on track to grow production by 16% over the two years to the end of 2015 after a 9% increase in output across the group in the six months to June 30th.
Fuelled by its highest ever level of bid pipeline prospects, outsourcing group Capita has secured £1.3bn of new contracts in the first half from a customer base ranging from John Lewis to the Transport for London and driven growth broadly in line with expectations. Organic revenue growth of 11% is a vast improvement on the 3% seen in the same period the year before, helping lift revenue 13.9% to £2.1bn in the first six months of the year. For the full year, Capital has visibility over revenue growth of at least 8%.
Balfour Beatty has landed a £129m deal to upgrade a 13-mile stretch of the M3 through Hampshire and Surrey. The main construction work will begin in autumn this year and is scheduled for completion in spring 2017.