Soft US Dollar to Weigh on European Shares


European shares looked set to open weaker on Friday as the U.S. dollar hit another record low, sending Japanese stocks down.

Bookmakers saw Britain's FTSE down 3 to 9 points, Germany's DAX 15 to 24 points lower and France's CAC 40, 6 to 20 points lower.

"We do not expect too much to happen as the retail sales report in the United States released yesterday showed that the United States is in a recession, which depressed the dollar weighing on exporting companies," said Heino Ruland, analyst at FrankfurtFinanz.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 1.3 percent in the previous session to 1,268.46 points. U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday, but Japanese stocks fell overnight as the dollar slipped against the yen, dragging exporters lower.

U.S. consumer price and consumer sentiment data will be in focus later in the day after figures showed on Thursday that retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.6 percent last month and the labor market continued to weaken, suggesting the pillar that had supported the U.S. economy's expansion may be giving way.

The dollar hit a record low against a basket of currencies, while oil prices eased after hitting a record high at $111 a barrel.