Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening down 37-44 points, or 0.8 percent on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking falls by Asian equities on concerns that the debt crisises impacting Greece and Italy could spread to other euro zone countries such as France and Spain.

The UK blue chip index closed down 1.60 points, or 0.03 percent on Tuesday at 5,517.44 after a roller coaster session, having reversed a rally to a session high of 5,551.38 from a low of 5,428.60 hit early on.

U.S. blue chips <.DJI> gained 0.1 percent on Tuesday, helped by above-forecast U.S. retail sales data, but ended below the day's highs after a volatile session.

Asian shares, however, fell back on Wednesday as signs that rising borrowing costs were affecting AAA-credit rated France stirred fears that even core euro zone members may not escape contagion from the region's debt crisis.

The political outlook remained unclear in struggling Italy and Greece as both countries attempt to push through severe austerity measures needed to get bail-out funds and win market confidence. Prime Minister designate Mario Monti was expected to unveil Italy's new government on Wednesday.

Italian 10-year bond yields on Tuesday climbed back above 7 percent, a level of funding costs seen as unsustainable in the long run for the debt-ridden country, while Spanish 10-year bond yields rose to 6.3 percent.

On the macroeconomic front, unemployment numbers will be released at 9:30 a.m., with October claimant count seen rising by 20,000, after a 17,500 increase in September, with September's ILO unemployment rate seen increasing to 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent.

After that, November's Bank of England inflation report will be published at 10:30 a.m.

The latest U.S. inflation numbers will be released at 1:30 p.m., with October CPI seen unchanged on the month, after a 0.3 percent rise in September, giving an annualised rate of 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent.

October U.S. industrial output numbers will be released at 2:15 p.m., with November's National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) index due at 3 p.m.

Ex-dividend factors will take 15.28 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday, mostly accounted for by market heavyweight Vodafone which trades without the attractions of a special dividend as well its half-year payout.

BSkyB , Marks & Spencer , J Sainsbury , and Vedanta Resources all also trading ex-dividend on Wednesday.