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European Shares Set to Extend Falls, US Retail Eyed

European shares are expected to open slightly lower on Thursday with inflation remaining a major concern following warnings by Federal Reserve officials and a cautious report on U.S. economic conditions.

Financial spreadbetters expect Britain's FTSE 100 to open unchanged, Germany's DAX to open 9 to 16 points lower and France's CAC-40 to open 5 to 9 points down. European shares have fallen now for six straight sessions.

The Fed's Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of economic conditions across the U.S., highlighted the pressures soaring commodity prices have put on producers.

In addition, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn warned that "Any tendency for ... longer-term inflation expectations to drift higher or even fail to reverse over time would have troublesome implications for the outlook for inflation".

Investors will focus on U.S. retail sales for clues about the world's largest economy.