The FTSE is set for a decline early on ahead of what is set to be a reasonably light day for both data and corporate news.
The top tier index is expected to open around 17 points below yesterday's close of 6,839.25.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed modestly higher last night after data showed that claims for unemployment benefits dropped by more than expected last week.
However, a late sell-off in utilities and energy, which have done well lately, dragged down the S&P 500
and the Nasdaq.
Initial US jobless claims for the week ended May 3rd fell by 26,000 to 319,000, below the consensus forecast of 325,000. The previous week's reading was revised higher by 1,000 to 345,000.
David White at Spreadex said: "European equity markets are looking to start today's session marginally lower, after investors failed to meet the excess supply in risk assets last night in the US."
He continued: "A reasonably light day for data will see market participants positioning for over the weekend, taking note from British manufacturing production figures out this morning."
The UK economy will grow by 2.9% this year and 2.4% in 2015, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) predicted this morning.
The figures, put forward in the organisation's latest quarterly economic review, mark a higher pace of growth than those given in January and, if correct, will mean that gross domestic product (GDP) will surpass its 2008 peak within the next few months. Previous predictions were for 2.5% growth in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015.
However, on a per capita basis GDP is still significantly below its early-2008 previous peak, and in the NIESR's view will not exceed that level before 2017.
It also estimated unemployment will hit 6.5% this year, while CPI inflation is set to remain close to the 2% target, NIESR believes.
Other UK macro numbers due out include the release of foreign trade and industrial production data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Looking abroad, figures due out today include the latest Chinese consumer and producer price data, while a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister Francois Hollande is scheduled to take place later on.
In this morning's company news announcements, oilfield services group Petrofac delivered a profit warning, saying that its bottom line for 2014 is likely to weaken due to lower-than-expected earnings from its IES division. The company is guiding to a net profit for the full year in the region of $580-600m, down from $650m in 2013. This compares with previous guidance in February when it had said it expected to deliver "flat to modest growth" in 2014.
IAG Group reported an 18% increase in monthly traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, in April. On an available seat kilometres basis, the rise was 16.6% month-on-month, or 7.6% on a pro-forma basis. Group premium traffic for April climbed 4% compared to a year earlier.
British Land has completed its first letting at Marble Arch House in the West End, after Fulcrum Asset Management signed a 10-year lease to occupy the 9,000 sq ft fifth floor of the building. Fulcrum has agreed to pay £78.50 per square foot and is due to move into the building over the summer.
Rolls-Royce has secured over £60m-worth of orders for its offshore ship designs and equipment from a variety of international customers. The engineering group announced the contracts, which include five Rolls-Royce UT Design vessels and propulsion equipment packages for research and seismic survey vessels, at the Offshore Technology Conference industry event in Houston, Texas.