Buoyed by a positive set of Chinese manufacturing figures out overnight, London stocks are set to register decent gains this morning.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around 17 points above yesterday's close of 6,743.94.
Wall Street finished yesterday on a mixed note, matching the picture offered up by the day's economic data, but the S&P 500
did manage to close out its best second-quarter advance since 2009.
The Chinese manufacturing purchasing mangers' index rose to a six-month high of 51 in June, according to the government's official data, up from 50.8 in May and in line with estimates. The final reading of the non-official Markit/HSBC was revised slightly lower to 50.7 but still came in at its highest in seven months.
PMIs for the UK, Eurozone and US are also scheduled for release during the session, all of which are forecast to show that manufacturing activity continued to grow in each region in June, albeit at varying rates.
CMC Markets's Michael Hewson said: "Today's final manufacturing PMI's for June from Italy, Spain, France and Germany are set to show that while Italy and Spain are starting to show some signs of optimism with rising PMIs, the economies of France and Germany are continuing to diverge, with French manufacturing PMI set to be confirmed at 47.8, while Germany is set to remain at 52.4.
"On the unemployment front, Germany remains well out in front with the June numbers expected to remain at 6.7%, and a drop of 10k expected."
In the UK, today will also see the release of the records of the Financial Policy Committee's (FPC) June 17th meeting, at which policymakers proposed to cap riskier mortgage lending in a bid to cool the UK housing market. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced last week that from October banks will not be allowed to lend more than 15% of their residential mortgages with loan-to-income ratios at over 4.5 times.
On the company front, Standard Life has completed the £390m purchase of Ignis Asset Management from insurance peer Phoenix Group. The deal, which has now received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, was first announced in March and was a move by Standard Life to bolster its Investments division.
UK regeneration specialist St. Modwen Properties posted a 32% increase in half-year pre-tax profit, increased its dividend and said improving valuations, particularly in the residential sector, underpin its confidence for the full-year. Pre-tax profit rose to £51.3m for the six months to May 31st 2014 from £38.8m a year earlier. Net asset value (NAV) per share rose to 294.2p from 278.8p per share before.
Online grocer Ocado claimed it outperformed its key online grocery competitors as it delivered a considerable rise in earnings despite the intensifying price competition in from traditional supermarkets and its own increased internal investment. Earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation was up 78.6% to £34.3m on gross retail sales up 15.6% to £442.4.
Greggs served up higher sales in the first half as new products attracted customers, helping it to forecast better profits than last year. Innovations such as revamped pizzas and pasties and new-style cakes drove a 3.2% rise in like-for-like sales in the 26 weeks to June 28th.