City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around six points higher than yesterday's close of 6,437.50, as US benchmarks picked up off their lows.
That said, US stocks still finished Wednesday's session with moderate losses as concerns about the looming debt-ceiling deadline and the ongoing budget impasse in Washington held back risk appetite.
With US data releases cancelled until the government reaches a budget deal, the attention will today turn to economic announcements in Europe and the UK.
A report on the UK services industry is expected to show the purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 60.5 in September, in line with the previous month's reading and above the 50 reading that signals expansion.
In Europe, the PMI Composite, which includes manufacturing and services, was at 52.1 in September, unchanged from August, according to consensus ahead of the report's release.
The data comes a day after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Europe was recovering albeit at a slow pace.
His remarks followed an announcement by the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5% until it sees further signs of recovery in the Eurozone.
In today's UK company news, easyJet raised its annual profit guidance on Thursday on the back of strong demand in the last quarter. In a trading update ahead of its results for the year to the end of September 2013, the low-cost airline said it expects pre-tax profit of between £470m and £480m, compared with previous guidance of £450m to £480m.
London-based clothing company Ted Baker revealed a strong set of half-year results, as it entered six new international markets, and said trading in the key second half has been positive across the business. Pre-tax profit for the 28 weeks ended August 10th surged 49.7% to £11.6m, while group revenue jumped 30.9% to £155.2m.
British oil major BP has said it is 'extremely pleased' after the US appeals court said it would halt some payments related to claims over the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP had called for a review into the payment formula for compensation, saying that it would end up paying billions of dollars unnecessarily to people and businesses who had made bogus claims. It asked for compensation assessment standards to be tightened to limit the settlements following the Deepwater Horizon disaster back in 2010.
Essar Energy, the FTSE 250 integrated energy company, has unveiled plans to leave its 50%-owned joint venture business Kenya Petroleum Refineries (KPRL), which operates the oil refinery in Mombasa, Kenya. The group has exercised a put option under the shareholders' agreement to sell its stake in KPRL to the government of Kenya, which owns the remaining 50% interest in the Mombasa refinery, for $5m.