UK stocks bounced off a two-and-a-half-week low on Wednesday morning as market sentiment recovered after a sharp sell-off.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.41% at 6,800.98 early on, after dropping 1.7% to 6,773.04 on Tuesday, its lowest close since 13 March.
The rising possibility of state boost to the resource-hungry Chinese economy was a likely stimulant to the index, where miners and oil companies have a heavy weighting.
In economic data, China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing showed that activity rose for the first time in three months, rising from 49.9 to 50.1 in March. However, HSBC's own manufacturing index improved from 49.2 to 49.6 but still remained in contraction below the break-even mark of 50.
While both surveys beat analysts' expectations, they showed that industrial employers shed more jobs last month. Chinese shares
rallied overnight with the data adding to pressure on Beijing to apply stimulus measures to spur growth in the world's number-two economy.
Manufacturing PMIs from Europe, the UK and US are all due out later during Wednesday's session.
Banking stocks rise
Specialist British bank Shawbrook made a stunning stock market debut on Wednesday in London with shares rallying to 305p, well above the top of its preset price range of 290p.
Other banks such as Barclays, Lloyds and RBS were also performing well. Lloyds in particular was benefiting from a ratings upgrade to 'hold' by Jefferies.
Asos saw profits fall by a tenth in the first half as a sharp drop in margins outweighed a strong sales performance, though results still beat analysts' expectations. The online fashion retailer also said it believes momentum is building because of its recent investments in price cuts and zonal pricing.
Russia-focused steelmaker Evraz surged after pledging to buy-back shares despite reporting a net loss of $1.28bn last year.
FirstGroup rose strongly after saying trading for the year to the end of March had remained in line with expectations, with progress continuing on its medium-term transformation plans.
Down on AIM, Nationwide Accident Repair Services surged after directors accepted a £43.2m cash takeover offer from private equity colossus Carlyle, a month after major shareholder Quindell sold its stake.
techMARK 3,148.60 +0.17%
FTSE 100 6,800.98 +0.41%
FTSE 250 17,096.85 +0.04%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barclays (BARC) 248.55p +2.45%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,573.50p +1.78%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.33p +1.34%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 344.50p +1.32%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 2,487.00p +1.14%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,996.00p +1.11%
BP (BP.) 440.95p +0.97%
CRH (CRH) 1,767.00p +0.97%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,117.00p +0.86%
Old Mutual (OML) 223.90p +0.81%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Experian (EXPN) 1,097.00p -1.79%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 940.00p -1.36%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 723.50p -1.23%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 529.50p -1.03%
Centrica (CNA) 250.40p -1.03%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 523.50p -0.95%
Kingfisher (KGF) 377.30p -0.87%
BAE Systems (BA.) 519.50p -0.76%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,652.00p -0.66%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,663.00p -0.64%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 199.00p +6.02%
FirstGroup (FGP) 95.45p +4.95%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 482.10p +2.03%
Premier Oil (PMO) 134.10p +1.90%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 167.50p +1.89%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 62.05p +1.80%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,371.00p +1.76%
Lonmin (LMI) 119.40p +1.62%
IP Group (IPO) 229.60p +1.59%
AO World (AO.) 186.10p +1.58%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 142.10p -2.47%
Drax Group (DRX) 355.20p -2.39%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 210.00p -2.33%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 256.10p -2.25%
Pace (PIC) 337.30p -2.23%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 56.30p -2.09%
Hunting (HTG) 481.00p -1.90%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 235.80p -1.79%
Polymetal International (POLY) 566.50p -1.65%
Bellway (BWY) 1,950.00p -1.56%