UK stocks are headed for a sharp drop early on following late losses over in the States last night, which saw the Dow Jones suffer triple-digit losses and prompted declines in Asia overnight.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around 32 points lower than yesterday's close of 6,787.07.
US stocks sank on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones tumbling more than 100 points - the biggest single session drop in more than a month - hit by geopolitical tensions which prompted a sell-off in the energy sector.
The declines came late in the session on the back of reports that the violence in Iraq had worsened, which offset fairly upbeat confidence and housing data.
The focus will continue to be on the other side of the Pond today, with the release of US first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) revision due out this afternoon, which as Market Analyst Joshua Mahony from Alpari UK noted, "appears to becoming progressively worse as time goes on".
He continued: "The impact of an extended period of adverse weather conditions throughout the quarter is to blame for poor hiring conditions, spending and alike. However, the revisions being touted within the markets are nothing to turn your nose up at, with forecasters looking for a figure closer to -1.7% this time around.
"The impact upon the markets remains to be seen given the fact that the figure is driven by weather factors and we are now only five days away from the third quarter. However, with such a downward revision potentially on hand, the release is well worth looking out for."
Meanwhile, reports from Iraq have claimed Syrian fighter planes bombed the Iraqi militants in the west, as the battle continued over the country's biggest oil refinery, with the most recent reports claiming the government had seized it back into their control.
Here in the UK in this morning's company news, Shire received a boost from the US courts after they blocked competitors from selling generic versions of its Vyvanse branded drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The five rival drug companies which had applied to market generic versions will now not be able to launch them until either the patents expire in 2023 or until they make a successful legal appeal that overturns 18 patent claims ruled on.
Real estate group Land Securities is spending £656m on a 30% stake in Bluewater, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. The company, which acquired the interest from Lend Lease, said it is part of its "continued strategic shift of our retail portfolio towards dominance, experience and convenience".
Packaging group Bunzl said overall trading has remained consistent with expectations since its last update in April and expects positive underlying revenue growth across all business areas. At constant exchange rates
group revenue growth for the six months ending June 30th is expected to be around 6%, due to underlying revenue growth of about 2% and the positive impact of acquisitions.