The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was seen opening as much as 0.2 percent lower on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, extending a technical correction amidst concerns over Greece's debt restructuring programme and deteriorating outlook for the global economy.
The blue chip index was expected to fall 10 to 13 points at the open on Wednesday after recording its biggest one-day fall in nearly three months in the previous session, when it shed 109.2 points to close at 5,765.80 points.
The index plunged through key technical resistance on Tuesday, including its 50-day moving average and the first retracement of the January bottom - February top move.
Closing under the bearish side of the retracement zone has set up the market for further downside action, James A. Hyerczyk, an analyst at Autochartist, said.
This means the market is likely to continue lower until it completes a retracement of the entire December to February rally.
He expected the next leg down to reach the 50 percent to 61.8 percent retracement zone at 5,646.35-5,571.38, although he recommended watching out for periodic oversold conditions that may produce sizable upside retracements.
The FTSE 100 index was right at the middle of its 28-day Relative Strength Index chart at 50, where 30 indicates oversold conditions and 70 is regarded as an overbought signal.
The index was weighed down by lingering worries about Greece's bond swap offer, which the country needed to avoid a messy default that would probably leave Italy and Spain in need of outside help.
Greek private creditors had until Thursday night to say whether they would participate in the exchange, which had already been accepted by a number of the biggest bondholders but was rejected by a clutch of Greek pension funds.
Seven blue-chip companies were scheduled to go ex-dividend on Wednesday - including tobacco group BAT
No major economic indicator was due to be released in Britain on Wednesday.
Across the Atlantic, the ADP National Employment survey was expected to show job growth among private employers accelerated in February, when companies were expected to have added 208,000 jobs, up from 170,000 additions in the previous month.
After the European market close, data from the Federal Reserve was forecast to show U.S. consumer credit grew by $10 billion in January after a $19.31 billion increase in the final month of 2011.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Greg Mahlich)