The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> is seen opening flat to slightly higher on Thursday, after a steady performance overnight from U.S. blue chips <.DJI>, although with investors worried that the European Central Bank's hefty loans to banks on Wednesday will not be enough to help drag the euro zone out of its debt crisis.
The benchmark looks set to open flat to up 10 points, or as much as 0.2 percent, according to financial bookmakers, on the final full trading day before the Christmas break, after it closed down 29.86 points, or 0.6 percent at 5,389.74 on Wednesday.
European banks took nearly 490 billion euros (408 billion pounds) in three-year cut-price loans from the ECB on Wednesday, easing credit crunch worries but fuelling fears over the health of financial institutions and the role of the central bank in fighting the crisis.
While it may buy vulnerable banks some time, it is certainly no solution to the wider problem of slow or no growth, Michael Hewson, market analyst at CMC Markets, said.
Furthermore the failure to deal with the failing banks also puts the good banks under pressure, as there is no discernible way to distinguish them.
In terms of British macroeconomic data, the final reading for third-quarter GDP is scheduled for release at 9:30 a.m.
Across the Atlantic, investors will look at a batch of data, including the final reading for third-quarter U.S. GDP, the November Chicago Fed index, and the latest weekly U.S. jobless claims, all due at 1:30 p.m., and the December final Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, out at 2:55 p.m.