Stocks in the UK look set to extend yesterday's gains as they track decent performances in both Asia and the US.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open around 21 points higher than yesterday's close of 6,635.61.
The minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting released last night revealed a more dovish stance among policymakers than expected.
"The minutes were enough to see US equities continue their rebound from this week's earlier sell-off, with the rationale for the rebound being that they make any rise in rates further away than had been feared," said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets.
According to the minutes of the March 18-19th Federal Open Market Committee meeting, policymakers said that the initial rise in interest rates is likely to come after current forecasts predict.
The minutes read: "A number of participants noted the overall upward shift since December in participants' projections of the federal funds rate included in the March [Summary of Economic Projections], with some expressing concern that this component of the SEP could be misconstrued as indicating a move by the Committee to a less accommodative reaction function.
"However, several participants noted that the increase in the median projection overstated the shift in the projections."
Back in the UK, it was announced last night that Lord Myners has resigned as an independent director of Co-operative Group. The departure of the Former City minister, who was tasked with conducting a major review of the group, comes after Euan Sutherland quit his role as Chief Executive last month.
Turning to today, the Bank of England (BoE) is due to release its latest policy decision. The central bank is forecast to leave interest rates at 0.5% and asset purchase at £375bn.
In this morning's company announcements, Vedanta Resources said it reached record full-year production of oil and gas, driven by the ramp-up of the Rajasthan block in India. The company achieved 218,651 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the year ended March 31st 2014, up 6% on 2012's 205, 323 boepd.
With UK sales remaining stubbornly flat, Marks and Spencer stitched together a more encouraging fourth-quarter result, with its troublesome general merchandise arm reversing its decline in the previous quarter but seeing margins remain depressed. Under-fire Chief Executive Marc Bolland hailed a strong performance from womenswear and food, against a backdrop of high levels of discounting in the market.
Consumer products group PZ Cussons said that trading for the third quarter was in line with expectations and full-year forecasts remain unchanged, though trading conditions in most markets remains 'challenging'. The company, which owns brands such as Carex, Charles Worthington and Imperial Leather, noted a "competitive trade environment in developed markets and weakening currencies adding to the cost base of both consumers and businesses in emerging markets".
Recruitment firm Hays reported a solid increase in quarterly net fee growth, helped by improved conditions across many of its key markets, leading to increased expectations for full year profits. Net fees on a like-for-like basis for the quarter ended March 31st 2014 rose 8% basis and 1% on an actual basis. UK & Ireland saw strong growth of 14%, driven by robust permanent growth of 25%.