European shares are seen opening lower on Wednesday with the focus on data showing the
health of employment-intensive services sectors in Europe and the United States, and on currencies after Tuesday's dollar rally.
Financial spreadbetters in London expect Britain's FTSE 100 to open 35 to 39 points lower; Germany's DAX to open 35 to 45 points lower and the Fench CAC 40 to open 33 to 37 points down.
In the United States, stocks fell for the second day on Tuesday after a report that Lehman Brothers may have to raise more capital. Wall Street's top indexes managed to finish well off their lows after Lehman denied rumors it had borrowed directly from the Federal Reserve.
European shares rose on Tuesday, partly on the back of lower oil prices.
The dollar was little changed on Wednesday, holding on to Tuesday's big gains against the euro and other major currencies after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued an explicit warning about the inflationary threat from a weak U.S. currency.
British home-improvements retailer Kingfisher will release its first-quarter trading statement and British Airways reports May traffic. Full-year results are due from British engineer FKI and French poultry farmer LDC.
On the economic data front, service sector PMI readings across Europe and in the United States.