Chinese economic figures today were mixed, with both manufacturing and services activity weakening in April. That in turn hit most stock markets in the region and is likely to spill over into the European mood.
The FTSE 100 was expected to fall 14 points to 6948 today according to trading on the IG platform.
As the week draws to a close, investors will be once again mulling the outlook for interest rates. US government bonds fell and yields rose yesterday with many investors betting rates are set to rise further in the coming months.
US Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell calmed those expectations somewhat on Wednesday when he said it was too soon to begin tapering Fed support for the US economy, but markets seem to have shrugged off his words already.
Strong GDP data published in the US yesterday added to market scepticism that the Fed could keep holding the line against the pressure to being scaling back monetary support.
European yields also rose yesterday in sympathy with the US 10-year Treasury.
Away from macro news, shares in Amigo Holdings, the guarantor lender, will be closely watched after takeover speculation boosted its shares yesterday.
WPP may come under scrutiny after its annual report detailed how it was withholding previous bonus payments to former boss Sir Martin Sorrell, claiming he had leaked confidential information about the company.
Sorrell has described the attack as “peanut envy” of the world’s biggest advertising company towards his upstart S4 Capital digital rival.
S4C has grown rapidly since he set it up after leaving WPP and is now worth £3 billion compared with WPP’s £12 billion.