The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening a touch lower on Friday, giving away most of the previous session's gains on renewed concerns about Greece's future after the country's international creditors demanded more steps from Athens before they release a rescue package.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup, said there would be no disbursement before implementation of austerity measures, and the International Monetary Fund demanded assurances Greece would stick to the agreed policies whatever the outcome of looming elections.
Greece has applied for aid from the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank to avert a disorderly default that has the potential to rock equity markets by casting doubts on the situation of other debt laden countries in the European periphery, such as Portugal, Italy and Spain.
The UK blue chip index is expected to open 12-13 points lower, or as much as 0.2 percent after gaining 19.54 points on Thursday, when it closed at 5,895.47 after coming off highs in late trade.
The index has been stuck in a narrow range of between 5,850.49 and 5,916.31 this week after hitting a six-month closing high of 5,901.07 last Friday.
Although the FTSE has been grinding higher, its recent straddling of the August top at 5913.50 could be a sign that buyers are backing away from buying strength and that a significant correction may be necessary to attract fresh capital, James A. Hyerczyk, analyst at Autochartist, said.
Of interest to oil stocks, which rose 0.8 percent on Thursday after strong results from BG Group
Banks <.FTNMX8350> will also be in focus as Barclays
On the macro front, the Office for National Statistics releases British factory gate inflation data for January at 0930 GMT. Producer output price inflation is expected to have slowed to 3.7 percent last month from 4.8 percent in December and 5.4 percent in November.
In the United States, the Commerce Department releases December International Trade data at 1330 GMT. Economists in a Reuters poll expect a trade deficit of $48.0 billion in December versus a deficit of $47.75 billion in November.
Preliminary figures from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers will be released at 1455. February's preliminary consumer sentiment index is expected to come in at 74.5 compared with a 75 reading in the final January report.
UK stocks to watch on Friday are:
The bank reports full-year results.
CABLE & WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
The telecoms provider issues a third-quarter trading update.
The property group issues an AGM trading update.
The airline issues a third-quarter trading update.
The wires and coils maker for the energy sector reports full-year results.
The airline unveils first-half results.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa. Editing by Jane Merriman)