UK stocks opened moderately lower ahead of the Bank of England's (BoE's) inflation report due out at 10:30, as well as a number of important economic indicators elsewhere.
"European stock markets are largely mixed Wednesday, staying in a tight range as traders tread carefully ahead of the G-20 meeting which kicks off on Friday in Moscow," said market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
"A number of high profile economic releases also keeps the bulls and bears at bay, with attention turning to the BOE's Inflation Report, Eurozone industrial production and US retail sales all due during the course of the session."
As for the Inflation Report, market analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets said that there is a high probability that the BoE could downgrade its forecast for 2013 growth given that "inflation will remain well above target for the next two years at least".
Meanwhile, traders were digesting comments made by US President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last night, in which he said he would push for a bilateral transatlantic trade deal with the European Union "because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs".
FTSE 100: Tullow leads resource stocks higher
Oil and gas group Tullow rose strongly earlier on after posting a 4.0% rise in annual pre-tax profits on the back for strong sales and output. Pre-tax profits in 2012 totalled $1.11bn, ahead of analysts' expectations.
While other oil stocks such as Shell and BP were lower, mining groups were performing well early on, with ENRC, Rio Tinto, EVRAZ, Kazakhmys and Glencore making decent gains.
Consumer product group Reckitt Benckiser edged higher after managing to narrowly beat consensus expectations in 2012, as growth was driven by a strong performance in the emerging markets and its Health and Hygiene divisions.
Engineering group IMI was a heavy faller after UBS downgraded its rating for the stock from 'neutral' to 'sell' on the back of long-term concerns about the trend of organic growth and issues with the order book for the Severe Service division.
In contrast, oilfield services group Petrofac was in demand after UBS lifted its view from 'neutral' to 'buy', saying that the company's portfolio of projects "is profitable and the order intake momentum is strong and hence we upgrade the stock".
FTSE 250: African Barrick Gold drops after 2012 production report
African Barrick Gold's shares
plunged after saying it was working to reduce costs following a drop in annual net profits. The gold miner reported net profits of $48.2m for 2012 - down from $284.7m the year before.
Oil and gas firm SOCO was also a heavy faller despite reporting a whopping 170% increase in production in 2012. Shares were lower after the firm said that it has had to extend the deadline for its option to sell its 80% interest in SOCO Cabinda in Angola.
Data centre operator Telecity gained after seeing adjusted EBITDA rise 22% in 2012 and saying it enters 2013 with a strong recurring revenue base.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,236.00p +4.75%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,679.00p +3.51%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 407.40p +2.44%
CRH (CRH) 1,388.00p +2.36%
Evraz (EVR) 301.90p +1.68%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 761.50p +1.67%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,160.00p +1.65%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,729.00p +1.61%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,171.50p +1.43%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 2,181.50p +1.42%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,923.50p -3.15%
IMI (IMI) 1,162.00p -2.27%
Sage Group (SGE) 337.90p -1.54%
BP (BP.) 453.20p -1.49%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,184.50p -1.38%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,134.50p -1.27%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,608.00p -1.17%
Capita (CPI) 806.50p -1.10%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 829.00p -0.96%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 351.10p -0.88%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bumi (BUMI) 440.10p +8.94%
Telecity Group (TCY) 868.50p +5.27%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,715.00p +3.63%
Alent (ALNT) 344.00p +1.65%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 280.30p +1.56%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 444.30p +1.35%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 350.00p +1.24%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 97.20p +1.20%
Inchcape (INCH) 493.80p +1.19%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 367.20p +1.10%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 313.40p -8.09%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 130.00p -5.18%
Soco International (SIA) 380.00p -4.16%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 68.55p -3.31%
Grainger (GRI) 135.80p -2.58%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 540.95p -2.53%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 770.50p -2.22%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,710.00p -2.01%
Unite Group (UTG) 297.60p -1.78%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 372.30p -1.77%