Corporate earnings are likely to take a back seat on Wednesday as all eyes focus on the Federal Reserve which will publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting.
Equity markets have been choppy over recent weeks given the heightened speculation that the Fed will begin to taper it quantitative easing programme at the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in September.
US bond yields have risen sharply over recent days in anticipation of an impending withdrawal of stimulus. The yield on a benchmark 10-year Treasury climbed to a fresh two-year high of 2.89% on Monday, before pulling back to around 2.82% by Tuesday afternoon - at this level they have still surged by 34 basis points over the last month alone.
"I'm not convinced at this stage that we'll learn too much from the minutes that we don't already know," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
"The Fed is unlikely to set thresholds that must be met in order to taper in September, and they're unlikely to have discussed how much they plan to taper because that, like the decision itself, is probably heavily dependent on the data," he said.
After a fairly quiet start to the week from an economic data standpoint, things will pick up on Wednesday. UK public-sector borrowing figures are due out at 09:30, with the CBI's Industrial Trends survey due out shortly after.
In the states, the housing market will be in focus with MBA mortgage-application figures and existing home sales due out in the afternoon.
Wednesday August 21
Frutarom Industries Ltd GDR (Reg S), Hikma Pharmaceuticals, PPHE Hotel Group Ltd, STV Group, UK Commercial Property Trust
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
British American Tobacco, Capita, Catlin Group Ltd., Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. (Singapore), Delcam, Hammerson, Henderson Opportunities Trust, Hongkong Land Holding Ltd. (Sing.Reg), InterContinental Hotels Group, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Singapore), Jupiter European Opportunities Trust, Lancashire Holdings Limited, Mandarin Oriental International (Singapore), Mobeus Income & Growth Vct, Mondi, Prudential, Rentokil Initial, Secure Trust Bank, Synectics, Taylor Wimpey, UBM
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Carnival, M Winkworth
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)
Existing Home Sales (US) (15:00)
FOMC Interest Rate Minutes (US) (19:00)
MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)
Frutarom Industries Ltd GDR (Reg S)
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
InterContinental Hotels Group
Thames River Multi Hedge PCC Ld Red Ptg Pref Npv Thames Rvr Hedge £
Aberdeen New Dawn Inv Trust, Acorn Income Fund Ld, Latham (James), Terra Catalyst Fund (DI)
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
CBI Industrial Trends Surveys (11:00)
Public Sector Finances (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Halma, National Grid
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Eckoh, NCC Group, NWF Group, PHSC, red24