Source - SMW
The FTSE 100 is expected to advance by 1 point on the final trading day of the week, according to the spread betting firms, with little news due on the Corporate or economic front to spur any major directional shift.

Investors in Asia also appeared to be protecting positions this morning, given last night's decline on Wall Street.

This is despite GDP figures from China showing that the world's second largest economy expanded at a higher rate than many analysts had predicted. 

Meanwhile, traders will be looking at today's retail sales data for a further indication over sentiment on the high street.

OVERSEAS MARKETS

In the US overnight, the Dow fell 97.84 points to end the session at 26,017.81, the S&P 500 eased by 4.53 points to close at 2,798.03 and the NASDAQ fell 2.23 points to 7,296.05.

Following a mixed start in Asia this morning, the Nikkei was 31.66 points higher, at 23,795.03, heading into the close and the Hang Seng was up 75.21 points at 32,197.15.

The Shanghai Composite was up 15.76 points, or 0.45%, at 3,490.51.

COMMODITIES

At 6:05am, WTI crude was 1.22% lower at $63.17 per barrel and Brent was off by 1.01% at $68.61 per barrel.

Gold was 0.36% firmer at $1,332.00 per ounce, silver was up 0.45% and copper was 0.38% higher.

LONDON MARKETS

Trading Statements: Record Plc.

AGM's / EGM's: Character Group and Megafon.

Economics: Monthly retail sales data.