The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening modestly higher on Wednesday, tracking similar performances on Wall Street and in Asia as investors continue to await news from Greece on its progress towards securing a bailout deal and averting a messy default.
Greek party leaders were set to meet again on Wednesday to try to strike a reform deal in return for the new 130 billion euro (108 billion pounds) rescue from the IMF and EU after a string of delays. Leaders of the three parties in the coalition of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos postponed what was supposed to have been a crunch meeting on Tuesday until the following day.
While most market players believe Greece is close to a deal, failure to secure the rescue package could push Greece into a chaotic default and threaten the stability of the entire euro zone.
Financial bookmakers expect the FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index to open up 3-5 points, having closed down 1.94 points, or 0.1 percent on Tuesday at 5,890.26 after staging a late recovery from lows.
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> ended 0.3 percent higher on Tuesday, and Asian shares nudged up to their highest in more than five months on Wednesday as investors kept hopes alive of a deal in Greece.
Commodity prices were also higher in Asian trade, with U.S. crude oil supported by an unplanned outage at a Canadian oil sands plant, while copper prices edged ahead on cautious optimism for the Greek debt talks.
However, a half-year profit fall from BHP Billiton
No important British data is scheduled for release on Wednesday, and across the Atlantic, only the latest weekly U.S. mortgage and refinancing indexes will be released, both at 12 p.m.
Only one UK blue chip firm will trade ex-dividend on Wednesday, with software firm Sage Group
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins. Editing by Mark Potter)