European shares are expected to fall in early trade on Thursday ahead of a raft of company earnings including Deutsche Bank as global equities succumb to the perception that a U.S. recession is looming.
Also on the calendar are two key central bank decisions from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.
Financial bookmakers expect Britain's FTSE 100 to open down 43 to 48 points, Germany's DAX to open down 76 to 87 points and France's CAC-40 down 71 to 74 points.
While the BoE is widely expected to cut British interest rates to 5.25 percent, the ECB is expected to leave euro zone rates at 4.00, so investors will be on the look-out for any shift in the language of the post-decision press conference that might open the door to an easing in monetary policy down the road.
Thursday also brings a flurry of company earnings, with Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, Infineon and GlaxoSmithKline all reporting results.
Infineon and the rest of the European tech sector could come under pressure following the after-hours drop in shares of Cisco Systems in New York on Wednesday when the world's largest maker of network equipment gave a disappointing outlook and warned of a rapid slowdown in U.S. and European orders.