Tracking losses in the US and Asia last night, London-listed stocks are set to move lower at this morning's opening bell, extending their own declines seen in yesterday's session.
However, the move lower is predicted to be a modest one, with City sources predicting the FTSE 100 will open just one or two points below yesterday's close of 6,738.45.
Overnight, it was revealed that Chinese inflation dropped to 2.3% from 2.5%, notably below the annual target set by the central banks of 3.5%.
"Disappointing inflation data from China led Asian stocks lower throughout the night as the number fell to [2.3%] with investor's now eagerly awaiting further data throughout the week to see if there is any stabilisation in the Chinese economy," commented SpreadEx's Samuel Fox.
"The Dow Jones continued to fall throughout yesterday's session with the negative sentiment spilling into Asia, also weighing in on the markets."
The main focus of today will be the much-anticipated release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, though these will be published after UK markets close at 19:00.
These may shed more light behind its decision to trim monthly bond purchases by $10bn for the fifth consecutive time.
Policymakers are weighing up when to increase its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2006. The Fed has kept its target for overnight lending between banks in a range of zero to 0.25% since December 2008.
Alpari Chief Market Analyst, James Hughes, said: "Pressure is mounting on Janet Yellen and the Fed to act on the positive readings we have seen coming out of the US economy over the last 12 months. Last Thursday saw the first time the non farm payrolls had shown five +200K consecutive readings since 2001, we also saw the unemployment rate tick to 6.1%.
"Many believe that despite a low participation rate that a drop below the 6% level is the catalyst the Fed is looking for to act and it could well be as early as next month that we see an increase in tapering or even a potential rate hike.
"This could well spell danger for those investors who have invested heavily in this equity market rally. This rally is built on severely low volatility and even lower volume leading me to believe that if a change in monetary policy would to happen earlier than people expected, it would cause the gains to unravel at lightning speed."
Also on the agenda today is a speech from European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, who is due to speak at the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Memorial Lecture in London.
"[This] is sure to causes volatility in markets as investors attempt to gain any further clarity on the monetary policy," Fox noted.
In this morning's company news, insurance group Admiral reported a decline in revenues in the first half despite an increase in customers as premiums fell on last year. Customer numbers rose to 3.9m in the six months to June 30th, from 3.6m the year before, with more people taking its products in both the UK and international regions. However, group turnover fell to £1bn from £1.1bn the year before.
HSBC has agreed to sell parts of its corporate and retail banking business in the Cayman Islands to a local Caribbean rival, Butterfield Bank. Gross assets of HSBC Bank (Cayman) Limited, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the HSBC corporation, were approximately $0.8bn at the end of March, with total assets at $1.4bn.
A fund 21%-owned by student accommodation group Unite has acquired a 2,904 bed student accommodation portfolio for £137m, which was funded through a combination of cash resources and existing debt facilities. The acquisition increases the fund's property portfolio value by 10% from £1.375bn to £1.512bn, comprising 24,577 beds in 68 properties across 22 UK towns and cities.