City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around nine points lower than yesterday's close of 6,713.18, as investors pause ahead of today's report on UK gross domestic product (GDP).
GDP is pegged to rise to 1.5% from 1.3% the previous quarter, consensus showed. The report comes after the Bank of England hinted at an earlier interest rate rise following a faster-than-expected pick-up in the UK's recovery.
Surveys have shown Britain has achieved a "robust recovery in activity" and the jobs market is improving, according to the minutes of this month's Monetary Policy Committee meeting released this week.
Economists said the Bank could begin its first rate rise at the start of 2016, six months earlier than thought, when it updates its UK outlook next month.
Also on today's agenda, the Ifo Institute for Economic Research will publish its business climate index, a leading indicator for economic activity in Germany. The index is anticipated to rise slightly to 104.5 in October from 104.2 last month.
In the US, durable goods orders for September will likely rise by 2% compared to August when it increased 0.1%, analysts predict.
In today's UK company news, engineered ceramics company Vesuvius said margins have improved since streamlining its portfolio to focus on higher-value product lines. In a trading update for the period from July 1st to date, the firm reported the successful implementation of a number of actions to mitigate the effect of the weakness in end-market demand experienced since the third quarter of 2012.
Speciality chemicals group Elementis said that despite of the slower-than-anticipated economic background, it delivered a 'resilient performance' for the three months ended September 30th and saw a return to more normal trading patterns in oilfield drilling, contributing to 12% sales growth.
International private-equity investor SVG Capital saw a near 4% increase in its net asset value (NAV) during the third quarter, helped by the positive share-price movements of two of its three largest investments. The FTSE 250 firm said that NAV per share rose 3.5% to 497.2p per share in the three months to September 30th, taking the year-to-date NAV growth to 27.1%, which compares to just 14.6% growth for the FTSE All-Share index since the start of the year.
Software and IT services business Sanderson Group said results for its full financial year are in line with market expectations but cautioned that the economic outlook still appears quite fragile. The group, which operates in e-commerce and online sales markets, said revenues are expected to be approximately £13.8m for the year ended September 30th, up from £13.37m the year before with an improved gross margin of 87% compared to 83.6% in 2012. Operating profits are in line with market expectations.