The FTSE 100 index was higher at midday on Tuesday as investors cheered a swathe of bullish company updates, with Lloyds Banking Group rallying strongly after third-quarter results.

Miners and integrated oils rose too, in tandem with commodity prices, helping London's blue-chip index <.FTSE> gain 73.64 points, or 1.3 percent to 5,584.46 by 1208 GMT, having shed 0.3 percent on Monday.

Lloyds rose 8.3 percent, leading the banking sector <.FTNMX8350> higher, as the part state-owned bank reiterated full-year guidance, which analysts said was a positive that helped offset a third-quarter loss.

Seymour Pierce analyst Bruce Packard said: There does not seem to be any monsters in these results and we welcome Lloyds eventual acknowledgement of reality.

Peer RBS gained 2.5 percent and HSBC rose 1.3 percent, ahead of the Asia-focussed bank's third-quarter trading update. The British banking index has lost a quarter of its value this year.

FTSE heavyweight Vodafone added more than 8 points to the index after the telecoms provider lifted its full-year profit outlook.

Marks & Spencer rose 2 percent as it posted a profit before tax and one-off items, slightly better than consensus forecasts, according to a company poll.

An analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers said: With much of the retail pain already priced in, the numbers have come as a welcome relief to M&S investors.

Supporting the gains, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street, ahead November U.S. IBD consumer confidence numbers due out at 1500 GMT.


Volume was 36 percent of the average 90-day volume as worries surrounding euro zone debt contagion remained, with Italian government bond yields holding near euro-era highs ahead of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi facing a crucial vote on public finances in parliament.

In Greece, party leaders struggled to agree on a new prime minister, as the nation and the EU clamoured for a deal on a unity coalition to save the country's finances.

After huge volatility and political turmoil in Greece, as well as Italy's problems looming in the background, we prefer to take a wait-and-see approach before retreating from our positive view on defensives and our negative view on financials, said Léon Cornelissen, analyst at Robeco which has more than 150 billion euros assets under management.

Food and retail group Associated British Foods gained 2.5 percent after reporting a beat in full-year earnings, with analysts keen on the Primark owner's defensive qualities.

We view ABF as an attractive investment proposition, particularly so with ongoing economic and political uncertainty leading to volatility in equity market, Shore Capital adds repeating its buy rating on the stock.

On the downside, InterContinental Hotels Group shed 3.1 percent, as concerns about the outlook pipeline for rooms and revenue per available room, seen as being hit by a slowdown in Europe, countered a top of the forecast 33 percent increase in third-quarter operating profit.

Tate & Lyle shed 1.8 percent as JPMorgan cut its rating on the sweetener and starches maker to underweight from neutral on earnings concerns.

AstraZeneca dropped 4 percent after an experimental antidepressant from the drugmaker and U.S. partner Targacept failed to meet its goal in the first of a series of clinical trials.

Worries over the economy remained as data showed British industrial output flat lined in September, although manufacturing rose slightly.

(Editing by Dan Lalor)