European stocks are set to open modestly lower Thursday ahead of a busy slate of corporate earnings and a key reading of retail sales in the United States.

Britain's FTSE 100 is poised to give back 0.06% of last night's gains, according to financial bookmakers IG, which took the main U.K. benchmark 0.36% into the green and helped boost the FTSE 250 mid-cap index to a record high close.

U.K. investors will likely focus on both today's mid-tier corporate earnings reports and the Office for National Statistics' reading of September retail sales, a critical component of economic growth that will following data showing the fastest rate of inflation in five-and-a-half years set against only modest wage growth.

European stocks are also priced to drift lower at the opening bell, with the DAX performance index opening little changed from its 13,043 point close last night and the CAC-40 in Paris opening 0.03% lower.

Overnight in Asia, regional stocks held at a 10-year high, helped in part by a modestly stronger U.S. dollar and still-impressive third quarter economic growth from China, where official data showed GDP expanded 6.8% in the three months ending in September.

The broadest measure of regional shares, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, was marked 0.2% higher heading into the start of the European trading session while the Nikkei 225 looked to extend its current winning streak to a 13th consecutive session, a run it hasn't seen for at least three decades.

U.S. equity futures are mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average possibly extending last night's record close - and the first over the 23,000 barrier - at the opening bell while both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq drift modestly lower.

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