European shares are seen opening the trading day mixed as investors digest a raft of company earnings and look ahead to UK GDP figures and the United States Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The FTSE 100 is seen flat, the DAX is seen opening up by 20 points and the CAC is called just slightly lower by 2 points.
Overnight, Asian shares were boosted by the "Apple effect". The tech giant's shares rose on the back of strong iPhone and iPad sales.
UK GDP figures out later on Wednesday could show that the economy avoided negative territory. A Reuters poll of economists shows many believe it will do so by the slimmest of margins, thereby avoid a technical recession following the contraction in GDP for the last quarter of 2011.
Investors will also keep a close watch on what emerges from the Fed’s meeting later on Wednesday and will be looking for any signs of further easing for the U.S economy.
Earnings season gets in full swing on Wednesday. Credit Suisse reported an unexpected profit for the first quarter of 2012.
Siemens, SAP and Spain’s BBVA - which is expected to post a sharp fall in profits for the first quarter - also report earnings.
Following his son’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry in the UK it will be News Corp’s Chief Operating Officer Rupert Murdoch’s turn to face a series of tough questions on the phone hacking scandal which led to the closure of Sunday paper News of the World.