Stocks in the UK are expected to ease lower this morning following a more subdued finish to yesterday's session over in the States last night, with City sources predicting the FTSE 100 will open around 10 points below yesterday's close of 6,873.55.
Having scorched to a succession of highs in recent weeks, US indices cooled their heels until just prior to yesterday's close, helped by a scarcity of macroeconomic or corporate newsflow.
Strong performances from tech stocks may have been behind a late surge, helping investors ignore some concerns that a correction lower might be looming.
Lee Mumford of SpreadEx predicted that the lacklustre performance is likely to continue, explaining that "investors find little reason to buy as these levels".
Much of the day's focus will be on UK unemployment data, with the number of jobless claims made in May forecast to have declined 25,000 following a 25,100 fall in April.
The unemployment rate is expected to show a retreat to 6.7% in the three months to April from 6.8% in the previous quarter.
According to analysts' estimates, British employers will have added 270,000 jobs in the quarter to April after adding 283,000 over the prior three months.
Over in the Eurozone, the main macro economic news of the day will include the release of euro-area industrial production, and the European Central Bank's monthly report.
The latter will be closely watched to see if it adds any colour to President Mario Draghi´s remarks last Wednesday regarding the eventual recourse to asset purchases.
Back in the UK, this morning's company announcements saw J Sainsbury report a decline of 1.1% in like-for-like (LFL) retail sales excluding fuel for its first quarter, as the supermarket group gave a cautious outlook for consumer trends in the UK. Chief Executive Justin King blamed the fall on lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices, though the decline eased from the 3.1% slump registered in the fourth quarter of the previous financial year.
JWT, the wholly-owned global marketing communications agency of WPP, has purchased a stake in The Hardy Boys, a creative agency in South Africa. The business is a multi-disciplinary, brand building agency, with fully integrated activation capabilities. Its client list includes Unilever and Diageo.
The cancellation of a major customer order has cut Rolls-Royce's order book by 3.5% or £2.6bn, although the company is confident of making up the difference from other eager airlines. The FTSE 100 company was informed by Airbus that Emirates Airlines had shelved an order for 70 of the aeroplane maker's A350 aircraft, which each employ four giant Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Newsagent and bookseller WH Smith said total group sales in the first 14 weeks of the second half of the financial year were flat with like-for-like (LFL) sales down 2%, compared to the same period last year, but it remains confident about its full-year outcome. At WHSmith Travel, total sales climbed 4% while LFL sales were flat in the period, as demand continued to improve. In contrast, WHSmith High Street sales fell 4%, as did LFL sales.
A business shake-up and record passenger numbers in its resurgent UK flight operation has helped to lift regional airline Flybe back into the black.