Stocks are expected to open slightly higher on Monday morning, tracking a strong finish for Asian markets overnight on hopes for the Chinese economy.
With the economic data calendar for Europe and the US looking pretty thin for Monday, investors are likely to focus on figures from China where trade and inflation numbers brightened the third-quarter outlook for the world's second-largest economy.
Chinese exports rose by a stronger-than-expected 7.2% in August and imports jumped by 7%, while the annual rate of consumer price inflation eased from 2.7% to 2.6%. This data - along with the news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics - gave stock markets across Asia a boost overnight and is set to lead to a higher open in the UK this morning with miners likely to be supported by easing concerns over a slowdown from the world's top metals user.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up 13 points from Friday's close of 6,547.33.
Nevertheless, a close eye will be kept on tensions over Syria this week ahead of a vote by US Congress over whether or not to proceed with a military attack after last month's alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar Al-Assad's regime.
Tensions at the G20 Summit escalated last week after Vladimir Putin said Russia would "assist" Syria if it was attacked by the US, just as US President Barack Obama was trying to rally for support from global leaders for an intervention.
Commenting on the vote in Congress, Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said: "A decision on the matter is not expected straight away, although comments are likely to leak out to the media throughout the week which should provide some indication as to how both the Senate and House will vote."
He added that a no vote may not necessarily put an end to the matter given that "Obama can still act without the approval of Congress if he believes it's the correct response".
Stocks to watch
FTSE 100 engineering and project management group AMEC has won a five-year extension to its gas mains replacement contract with Wales & West Utilities (WWU). The contract extension, worth £40m per annum, will see AMEC and Morrison Utility Services - together known as the Western Gas Alliance - replace 420km of gas mains each year and complete 40,000 customer gas connections.
Associated British Foods said a strong finish to the year from Primark will help it deliver adjusted operating profit ahead of expectations for the second half. The London based food, ingredients and retail group said net interest expense in the second half will be well below last year's charge while the underlying tax rate for the year will be slightly lower than that used in the interim results. Adjusted earnings per share for the full year will show good progress, it added.
LondonMetric Property has acquired distribution warehouses in Northamptonshire and Leicester for £23.1m. In Northamptonshire, the company has purchased a 310,500 sq ft distribution warehouse in Crick from Harbert Europe for £17.9m. In Leicester the group bought Boden Distribution Unit, Meridian Business Park from a Rockspring managed fund for £5.2m.