European shares were set to retreat on Friday, tracking losses by U.S. and Asian shares overnight after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he saw weak economic growth ahead.
Financial bookmakers, or spread betters, in London expected Britain's FTSE 100 index to open between 31 and 33 points lower, the German DAX 44 to 49 points lower and the French CAC 40 38 points lower.
In testimony before a congressional committee on Thursday, Bernanke acknowledged the outlook for the economy had worsened in recent months and said risks to growth had picked up.
Investors also fretted about more trouble in the credit market after Moody's Investors Service cut its rating on bond insurer FGIC Corp. The move could lead to even more write-downs at banks that own securities covered by the company.