European shares are seen opening lower on Wednesday tracking losses in Wall Street and Asia, as record oil prices fueled fears that inflation could limit the scope for major central banks to cut interest rates.
Financial bookmakers see Britain's FTSE 100 opening down 42 to 47 points, Germany's DAX down 47 to 58 points and France's CAC 40 opening 31 to 40 points lower.
Investors will also keep an eye on results from European banks such as BNP Paribas, ING and Alliance & Leicester for fresh evidence of how the financial sector is dealing with the fallout from a subprime crisis in the United States.
U.S. crude oil jumped to a record above $100 on Tuesday. While initially supportive for stocks, because it underpinned heavyweight energy shares, such lofty levels eventually helped U.S. stocks to sell-off on fears it would add to building price pressures.
Investors will look for fresh insight into the inflation outlook from U.S. consumer price data later in the session.
In Asia, Japanese shares slid more than 3 percent after the Financial Times reported KKR Financial Holdings had delayed repayment of billions of dollars of debt.