UK markets are expected to open slightly higher on Thursday, following in the footsteps of a decent finish on Wall Street the night before following weakness earlier on in the week.
Markets have been pressured lower in recent days on concerns about a potential Western military intervention in Syria in response to last week's alleged chemical weapons attack that killed over a thousand civilians.
The risk of disruptions to oil supplies in the Middle East has sparked a surge in crude prices - West Texas jumped to its highest level in over two years yesterday - which is beginning to erode growth prospects for the global economy.
"Equities staged a bit of a recovery in the US over night, with the S&P and Dow both ending more than a quarter of a percentage point higher. While some view this as a sign that investors are still willing to buy the dips, regardless of the goings on in Syria, I think this is just a minor retracement following two very negative sessions," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
"I am in the camp that believes we're now in correction mode, following the huge rally this year that was backed primarily by the Fed's bond buying programme," he said.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up around 25 points from yesterday's close of 6,430.06.
Stocks to watch
FTSE 100 listed advertising multinational WPP revealed a 19% increase in half year pre-tax profit as slowing growth rates among emerging markets was eclipsed by a robust performance among mature markets like North America and the UK. Pre-tax profit jumped 19.4% to £427.1m for the six months ended June 30th 2013 while revenue grew 7.1% to £5.3bn.
Serco Group has confirmed that the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has called police over the misreporting of data by 'a small number of employees' associated with Serco's Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS) contract. Serco will be able to retain the contract if, after a period of three months, performance is restored to PECS, and said the costs of the improvement programme would be paid by Serco, with any profit earned through the contract so far - estimated to be around £2m - to be repaid.
HICL Infrastructure has acquired further interests in two existing UK operational projects for £10.2m, the first being the remaining 50% equity interest in the Newton Abbot Community Hospital Project and the second a further 5% equity and loan notes interest in the Connect Project, giving the group a 33.5% interest overall. The company said the acquisitions were "central to the strategy of investing in operational social and transportation infrastructure concessions".
Vodafone will also be in focus on reports that Verizon has resumed discussions about buying its stake in their US joint venture for over $100bn.