European shares were set to open stronger on Wednesday, stoked by record highs in U.S. and Asian markets after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting showed inflation expectations were contained, leaving the door open for further rate cuts.
A trading update from British supermarket chain J. Sainsbury, which has been bid for by Qatari-backed investment fund Delta Two, and a clutch of trading statements from companies including Carphone Warehouse and miner Vedanta top the day's agenda.
Spread betters in London expect the FTSE 100 Index to open 23 to 26 points higher, the DAX up 37 to 44 points and the CAC 40 20 to 30 points stronger. European markets rose on Tuesday.
Aluminum producer Alcoa kicked off the U.S. earnings parade when it reported a 3% rise in third-quarter earnings and raised its share buyback program -- from 10% to 25% of outstanding shares.
Oil firms will be in focus after Chevron issued a profit warning due to a sharp drop in refining margins and its shares fell in extended trading.