The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was seen opening up as much as 33 points, or 0.6 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia as investors await a summit on Friday aimed at finding a solution to the euro zone debt crisis.
There is mounting optimism euro zone leaders will agree a decisive plan to resolve the region's debt crisis, with hopes of fresh new measures such as further fiscal integration within the currency bloc as well as a bigger role for the European Central Bank to stem the region's debt crisis.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will propose to Friday's EU summit a plan to impose mandatory penalties on euro zone states that exceed deficit targets, aiming to restore market confidence and prevent the region's debt crisis from spiralling out of control.
Details of their treaty reform proposals were due to be presented on Wednesday in a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the meeting of 27 EU leaders.
Clearly there's a lot to come from the EU leaders summit at the end of the week and the expectation is that this will include more detail as the common currency continues to fight for its very survival, although with this just the latest in a string of hastily convened summits, traders can be forgiven for wanting to look elsewhere for direction, too, said Terry Pratt, Institutional Trader at IG Markets.
The blue-chip index closed up 0.76 point, or 0.01 percent, at 5,568.72 on Tuesday following a see-saw session, as strength in defensive stocks countered by losses in risk-sensitive banks after credit ratings agency Standard & Poors warned of a possible downgrade to most euro zone countries.
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> closed 0.4 percent higher on Tuesday, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> up 1 percent on Wednesday, while the Nikkei stock average <.N225> added 1.7 percent.
On the data front, October industrial and manufacturing output numbers will be released at 9:30 a.m., with monthly falls of 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent forecast, respectively.
Across the Atlantic, the latest weekly mortgage and refinancing indexes will be released at 12 p.m., with U.S. consumer credit numbers for October due at 8 p.m.
Ex-dividend factors will clip 0.43 point off the FTSE 100 index, with AB Foods
Investec could also be weighed by expectations the stock will be one of three to be demoted from the FTSE 100 when the latest quarterly reshuffle of the index is announced after the London market close on Wednesday.
Stocks to watch on Wednesday are:
Britain stepped up its fight against unacceptable bank bonuses on Tuesday by proposing improved disclosure on pay from next year, backed by shareholders also angered by the scale of rewards.
Oil prices are so high as to risk stunting global economic growth, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph said.
The global brewing giant named Ari Mervis to take over as chief executive at Foster's, fresh from completing a A$11.5 billion takeover of Australia's top brewer.
Britain's biggest sporting goods retailer Sports Direct
The electricals retailer delivers first-half results.
The transport operator posts first-half results.
The paper & packaging firm unveils first-half results.
MICRO FOCUS INTERNATIONAL
The technology group unveils first-half results.
The stockbroker reveals full-year results.
The stockbroker posts full-year results.
The construction firm issues a trading update.
A G BARR
The soft drinks firm issues a trading update.
The coal miner reports full-year results.
The biotech firm holds its annual general meeting.
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins)