European shares are set for a slightly lower open on Wednesday, failing to gain traction from a modest rally in the U.S. where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 18,000 points for the first time ever.
According to IG, the FTSE is called to open lower by 1 point at 6,597, the German Dax is seen down by 16 points at 9,906 and the French CAC is seen lower by 3 points at 4,312.
Trading volumes are set to be light in Europe on Wednesday with markets open for just a half day due to the festive holidays. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is set to close at 12.30 p.m. London time with the major European bourses ending at 1.00 p.m. London time. Indexes in Italy and Germany are both closed throughout the day.
“It’s Christmas Eve and the human beings that drive European markets, even those programming the algorithms are turning their attention to subjects far-removed from the daily price swings,” Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a morning note.
On the data front, France will get new unemployment figures at 10.00 a.m. London time. There are no major corporate earnings releases.
In the U.S. on Tuesday, gross domestic product for the third-quarter was revised up to an annualized 5 percent. The figure was much better than market expectations and helped boost sentiment in Europe with shares closing higher. Jobless claims data for the U.S. is due out after the European close at 1.30 p.m. London time.