European Stocks Set to Dip as Inflation Worries Rise


European stocks are expected to open lower on Friday, trimming gains made earlier this week on a Federal Reserve-induced rally, as oil prices again hit a record high and stoke inflation concerns.

No major economic data is due and Italian energy group ENI is the only large cap firm reporting results. Asian stocks were steady on Friday.

Oil prices held near $82 a barrel, after hitting a record $84 the previous day as a tropical depression forced the shutdown of Gulf of Mexico output and sparked supply fears ahead of peak winter fuel demand.

U.S. stocks ended lower as a weakened dollar and a surge in oil prices kindled fresh concerns about inflation. Fed chief Ben Bernanke said the central bank cut interest rates to brace the U.S. economy against damage from financial turmoil but warned the outlook remained uncertain.

Technology shares might be in focus after Oracle beat quarterly estimates but forecast slower growth in sales of new software.

Bookmakers see Britain's FTSE 100 opening down 5 to 6 points, Germany's DAX easing 12 points and France's CAC 40 falling 6 to 11 points, extending Thursday's weakness in markets.