US gasoline stockpiles built sharply during the latest reference week, resulting in a sharp drop in crude oil inventories.
For the UK the financial diary is pretty quiet, with investors able to fully scrutinise new FTSE 100 entrant DS Smith as it publishes half-year results a week after it's promotion to the blue chip index was confirmed.
US labor costs slipped unexpectedly during the third quarter, as wages grew more slowly than anticipated.
Analysts continued to warm towards stocks last month but based on past experience their overall level of optimism was still consistent with further gains in shares, strategists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said.
Private sector employment in the US rose more than expected in November, according to data released by ADP on Wednesday.
Strong domestic demand and from outside the single currency bloc boosted German factory orders last month.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined insurance broker Bluefin - a former AXA subsidiary - £4m for misleading customers.