The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening up 55-63 points, or 1.1 percent on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia as hopes for an easing of concerns over the euro zone debt crisis get a boost from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's pledge to resign.
Berlusconi's pledge came on Tuesday after he failed to secure majority in a crucial parliamentary vote, and revived hopes a new leader would more aggressively tackle the country's debt problems with reforms that may help keep the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis from spreading.
Concerns about the Berlusconi government's ability to implement reforms to boost Italy's sluggish growth and cut its huge debt have resulted in a sharp rise in Italy's borrowing costs towards unsustainable levels.
The blue chip index closed up 56.52 points, or 1.0 percent on Tuesday at 5,567.34, although that was well off the intraday peak of 5,616.00, helped by a batch of well-received corporate updates from the likes of Vodafone
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> ended 0.8 percent higher on Tuesday, albeit after another volatile session, and in Asia on Wednesday the MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.9 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> added almost 1.2 percent.
Commodities prices were also higher in Asian trade, with copper up 0.9 percent, helped by data showing that China's inflation slipped in October, easing concerns that the government will further tighten monetary policy.
On the domestic macroeconomic front, trade balance figures for September will be released at 9:30 a.m., with a global trade gap of 8.00 billion pounds forecast, after a 7.768 billion pounds deficit in August.
Across the Atlantic, the latest U.S. weekly mortgage and refinancing indexes will be released at 12 p.m., with September U.S. wholesale inventories due at 3 p.m.
Ex-dividend factors will clip 1.46 points off the FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index on Wednesday, with Barclays
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)