European shares are seen opening slightly lower on Wednesday after two days of gains prompted by big banks disclosing the extent of the impact of a credit crunch on their results.
With little diaried on the corporate front, investor focus will be on retail sales numbers from Europe and employment figures and non-manufacturing ISM from the United States.
Bookmakers see Britain's FTSE 100 down 3 points, Germany's DAX down 2 to 4 points and France's CAC-40 down 4 points to up 1 point.
Investors will also watch a Merrill Lynch conference in London for a presentation by Deutsche Bank's CEO. The German bank is under pressure to reveal the full impact of a credit crisis on its results after UBS announced a third-quarter loss and Citigroup said profits were badly hit.