European Factors-Stocks seen extending drop after U.S. Fed
LONDON Aug 20 (Reuters) - European stock markets were seen falling at the open after steep losses in the previous session, tracking global weakness after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve July meeting dented expectations for a rate hike in mid-September and commodities took a hit from slowdown fears.
EuroSTOXX 50 index futures were down 0.4 percent at 0615 GMT, with London, Paris and Frankfurt blue-chip equity futures down 0.3 to 0.6 percent.
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were down 1.1 percent, following losses on Wall Street amid mounting concerns over the state of the global economy.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 equity index closed 1.9 percent lower on Wednesday to its lowest level in about five weeks, though still only about 9 percent down from multi-year highs hit earlier in 2015.
"The current earnings expectations for Europe given the global growth outlook are probably too high and it may require additional action from the ECB (European Central Bank)," Deutsche Bank Managing Director Nick Lawson said in a note to clients.
UK retail sales due later in the day are set to shed more light on consumer confidence and could impact sterling if seen as an indicator for inflation or the timing of an interest-rate move. Around half of British households expect the Bank of England to hike interest rates in the next six months.
Grocery chain operator Ahold reported results on Thursday that were broadly in line with analyst expectations, amid improving economies in the U.S. and Netherlands.