The FTSE is expected to inch lower at the opening bell, tracking marginal losses in the US overnight which came on the back of the decision by the West to impose further sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine.
The top-tier index is predicted to open four points lower than yesterday's closing level of 6,807.75.
Yesterday's session saw the European Union (EU) agree to impose new sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the fighting in Ukraine, with measures to prevent Russian banks from accessing European capital markets or taking loans from their European peers, as well as restrictions on access to sensitive technology and equipment for the oil industry.
Washington later added to its own current measures, releasing a list of Russian banks that were to be prevented from transactions with Americans, including the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank.
In the view of Craig Erlam, a Market Analyst at Alpari, "the Russian economy is clearly feeling the pain of the sanctions and the latest round could be enough to send the country into recession and cause unrest among some of Putin's closest allies".
Erlam also noted that some of the weakness seen ahead of the open is down to traders "sitting on the side lines" ahead of today's major economic releases, which includes US gross domestic product (GDP) and employment figures, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision.
"It's been a very slow start to the week and any data we have seen has had little to no impact on the markets but I am convinced that will not be the case today," the analyst said.
"The GDP and employment readings for the US will surely shake things up ahead of the FOMC decision this evening. The decision itself shouldn't offer any surprises with asset purchases falling by another $10bn to $25bn, but the statement may provide insight into the outlook for interest rates with many expecting the Fed to adopt a slightly more hawkish tone in the coming months."
In this morning's news, it was revealed that currency headwinds blew earnings per share 12% lower at British American Tobacco in the first half of the year, although underlying profits improved if exchange rates
were held steady. Group revenue was up 3% at constant rates of exchange to £7.78bn, but down by 10% to £6.80bn at the reported level due to the adverse exchange rate
Chile-focused mining group Antofagasta has maintained its production guidance for 2014 after a sequential increase in output in the second quarter, while net cash costs were broadly flat. Group copper production in the three months to June 30th totalled 178,800 tonnes, up 5.5% on the first quarter of the year. The firm said this was mainly a result of higher plant throughput levels following the scheduled maintenance at its Los Pelambres and Esperanza projects at the start of the year.
Barclays has reported a 12% fall in adjusted net income for the first half to £13.32bn. The consensus estimate had been for a drop to £13.23bn. Impairments decreased by 33% to £1.086bn, resulting in a 9% drop in net operating income to £12.246bn.
The World Cup and the UK's economic upturn helped broadcaster ITV to boost half-year earnings by 11% as it voiced confidence about its autumn programme schedule and said it was on track to expand internationally.