Wednesday preview: US tax cut votes in focus
Amid a holiday-thinned corporate announcement calendar, focus during the Wednesday trading session would be on the result of the previous night's tax cut vote in the US House of Representatives, with another vote scheduled in the Senate later in the day.
With markets having recently already moved to price-in approval of Republicans' fiscal proposals, any setback - while deemed unlikely - would unleash a very negative reaction in markets.
There wasn't much on the economic calendar either, with investors expected to hone in on US existing home sales figures for November due out at 1330 GMT and the Confederation of British Industry's Distributive Trades survey for December set for release at 1100 GMT.
Investors were also waiting on the latest weekly official US crude oil statistics at 1530 GMT.
Wednesday December 20
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Creightons, Diversified Gas & Oil, Investec
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Royal Dutch Shell 'A', Royal Dutch Shell 'B'
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)
Current Account (EU) (09:00)
Existing Home Sales (US) (14:00)
MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)
Producer Price Index (GER) (07:00)
Ecofin Global Utilities and Infrastructure Trust , IDOX
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Canadian General Investments Ltd.
AFI Development, Avation, British Empire Trust, Creo Medical Group, Creo Medical Group, Green Dragon Gas Ltd. (DI), Webis Holdings
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
CBI Distributive Trades Surveys (11:00)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Smart (J) & Co.