The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening down 1-4 points, or 0.1 percent on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers, modestly extending recent losses into a third straight session in tandem with weakness overnight on Wall Street and in Asia.
Investors were unsettled by renewed worries over the prospect of a new recession in Europe and a slowdown in growth in resource-hungry China that have seen a 2-1/2 month stock market rally stall.
The blue chip index closed down 36.31 points, or 0.6 percent on Monday at 5,874.82, as weakness in miners and engineers outstripped strength in defensive stocks after China cut its growth forecasts, while mixed economic data in Europe and the United States dimmed the outlook for global growth.
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> closed 0.1 percent lower on Monday, while the broader S&P 500 <.SPX> index shed 0.4 percent, also pressured by falls from basic materials.
Asian shares also fell on Tuesday, with the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index <.MIAPJ0000PUS> dropping 1.4 percent, dragged lower by Chinese shares and the pan-Asian mining sector <.MIAPJMT00OUS>.
London copper prices fell further in Asian trade, down 0.7 percent as the demand picture was clouded by Monday's growth forecast cut by top metals consumer China.
Oil was the only market bucking the downtrend, up 0.1 percent as worries grew about the risk of supply disruptions amid rising tension over Iran's dispute with the West on Tehran's nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured President Barack Obama on Monday that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran's nuclear sites, sources close to the talks said, but the Israeli prime minister gave no sign of backing away from possible military action.
Debt-stricken Greece also remained in the spotlight on Tuesday, after major Greek bondholders voiced their support for a deal that would cancel more than 100 billion euros (83 billion pounds) of its private sector debts - a key part of a 130 billion euros bailout. The lenders, mainly banks, insurers and investment institutions, have to reveal their intentions by Thursday night.
On the data front, British retail sales remained sluggish last month, the British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday, in a survey that continued to contrast with the more upbeat trend in official data and another private-sector survey.
The BRC said that like-for-like retail sales - a measure that strips out changes in floorspace and is favoured by equity analysts - fell by an annual 0.3 percent in February in value terms, the same decline as the previous month.
No other important British macroeconomic data will be released on Tuesday, with no U.S. economic pointers of note scheduled either.