The UK is expected to unveil new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday following the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury.
Prime Minister Theresa May gave Moscow until midnight on Tuesday to provide a “credible response” or face additional sanctions. The deadline passed without incident.
Possible sanctions include expelling Russian diplomats or laws allowing the government to ban Russians accused of rights abuses from entering the UK.
Equities were down in Asia on Wednesday with Hong Kong the hardest hit after US President Donald Trump sacked Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and trade war fears persisted. Foreign exchange and fixed income markets were steady, however, with Australian government bonds gaining as oil prices edged lower after dropping in the previous session.
Futures are tipping the weak sentiment to carry into European trading with the FTSE 100 set to edge down 0.1 per cent when trading gets underway in London. The S&P 500 is expected to drop 0.2 per cent at the open.
Corporate announcements for Wednesday include Adidas, Balfour Beatty, Dignity, Prudential and Wm Morrison Supermarkets.
The economic calendar today is short and sharp (all times London):
- 07.00: Germany consumer price index
- 08:30: Sweden CPI
- 08.55: Iceland interest rates decision
- 10.00: eurozone industrial production