The FTSE 100 Index opened in high spirits but share shoppers deserted Marks & Spencer after it said a shake-up would hit profits.
The top-flight index climbed 39.39 points to 6258 while its smaller siblings were also in positive territory. The FTSE AIM 100 was up 8.4 points and the FTSE AIM All-Share gained a point.
Markets took their cue from news that Eurozone finance ministers had approved a much-needed €10.3bn in Greek bailout funds.
But M&S (LON:MKS) was leading the fallers after the group said a turnaround of its ailing clothing arm would take time and cost money, at least in the short term.
Investors ignored the retailer’s “get back to basics” revival plan for the division, sending its shares down 35.6p, or 8%, to 409.1p.
But Dixons Carphone PLC (LON:DC) sparked over 2% to 458p after reporting higher revenues and predicting profits at the top end of forecasts.
The company is developing a major oil prospect in Tunisia and a big underground gas storage scheme in north-east Italy.
Shares in oil and gas explorer Petrel Resources PLC (LON:PET) also lifted 8.8% to 4.63p on news that it expects Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WOPEY) to start a 3D seismic survey of Frontier exploration licence 3/14 in the Irish Atlantic in just over a month’s time.
Preview at 6.52am
FTSE 100 seen higher ahead of Wednesday’s open
London’s FTSE 100 is expected to start Wednesday in plus territory, as traders follow positive equities markets in the US and Asia.
Tuesday marked Wall Street’s best trading day for about two months as technology stocks drove benchmarks higher.
The Dow Jones climbed 213 points, 1.22%, to 17,706. The S&P 500 gained 1.37% and the Nasdaq added 2% to 4,861.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced some 2.6% to around 20,340 while the Shanghai Composite edged only marginally higher. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.65% to 16,772.
Australia’s ASX 200 moved 85 points, 1.62%, higher to 5,381.
Crude oil prices continue to tease the US$50 marker. On Wednesday morning Brent crude was 1.7% higher at US$49.18 while West Texas Intermediary was up 2.4% at US$49.28. Elsewhere, gold was changing hands at US$1,225 an ounce.
In London, spreadbetter and CFD provider IG Markets sees the FTSE 100 around 40 points higher this morning. It is calling the blue chip benchmark at 6,270 to 6,275 about an hour before the start of trading.
In focus: €10bn bailout unlocked for Greece. The latest tranche of bail out funds are being released after the country put through a further wave of austerity.
In focus: A British ‘institution’ that was most successful in the 1990s is reportedly getting a new Portuguese boss – but this isn’t yet another Jose Mourinho to Manchester United story. A new consortium backed by Portuguese money is the latest suitor in the frame for BHS.
Finals: Babcock International; Great Portland; Marks and Spencer; Mediclinic International; Pennon; Wizz Air.
First quarter results: HSS Hire.
Trading statements: Hilton Food Group; Intertek.