London's blue chips are expected to track losses seen over in the States last night, as reports on retail sales and jobless claims missed estimates and as the turmoil in Iraq pushed oil prices
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around 24 points lower than yesterday's close of 6,843.11.
Alpari UK Market Analyst Craig Erlam said: "For a while now we've been waiting for that next major catalyst that can either provide a boost for the next leg higher in indices or bring about a long overdue correction and it looks like the latter may have won the race.
"Overnight, US indices suffered further losses, with the S&P ending the day in the red for a third consecutive day, while the Dow recorded a second day of losses for the first time in almost a month."
Meanwhile, at his speech at Mansion House yesterday evening, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney revealed that interest rates could potentially rise sooner than currently predicted by markets.
"Unsurprisingly we saw a significant spike in the pound in response to these comments, with traders now pricing in a rate hike as early as later this year, rather than early 2015," Erlam noted.
"Sterling rallied more than one cent against the dollar, while the euro also suffered quite significantly at the hands of the sterling rally."
In other news, China this morning released data which showed its retail sales and urban investment both came in ahead of forecasts.
Also on the cards today is German inflation data, which is projected to reveal a 0.6% year-on-year increase in May amid concerns over weak prices in the Eurozone. The European Central Bank last week introduced new measures to stabilise prices.
In the US, the focus will be on the release of the University of Michigan's preliminary estimate of the consumer confidence index in June, which is tipped to climb to 83 from 81.9 the prior month.
Back on this side of the Pond, AstraZeneca has welcomed a vote by a committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against the necessity of a trial looking specifically into cardiovascular outcomes of its Movantik drug, which has been developed to treat constipation associated with opioid pain medications. The majority of the committee suggested continued post-approval data collection for cardiovascular safety.
Oil explorer Tullow said on Friday that it has increased the size of its loan facility for exploration in Norway from NOK2bn ($330m) to NOK3bn ($500m). Chief Financial Officer Ian Springett said that the new funds provide pre-funding for around 75% of Tullow's exploration and appraisal investment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
FTSE 250-listed miner Petra Diamonds has recovered an "exceptional" 122.52-carat blue diamond at its Cullinan mine in South Africa. "The rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find," the company said in a statement.
Over in the US, tech giant Intel has said it now expects revenues to grow in 2014 after stronger-than-expected demand resulted in a solid second quarter. The comments prompted a near-5% jump in Intel's shares
in after-hours trading on Thursday in New York.