The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was seen opening up 10-20 points, or 0.4 percent on Wednesday, the first session of a new month, according to financial bookmakers, tracking a recovery from lows on Wall Street and helped by better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data.
London's blue-chip index closed 10.52 points, or 0.2 percent, higher on Tuesday at 5,681.61, a third straight session of gains, to notch up an advance of 2 percent for January as a whole, its best performance for three months.
U.S. blue chips <.DJI> closed down 0.2 percent on Tuesday, rallying from session lows seen around London's close, but still depressed by more weaker-than-expected U.S. economic reports that have surprised investors after a stream of positive data in recent months.
Asian stock markets also struggled on Wednesday as that weaker U.S. data dampened recent optimism that the world's largest economy may escape the gloom from the euro zone debt crisis, with the upbeat Chinese manufacturing surveys failing to break the cautious mood.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.3 percent in a volatile session, while Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> bucked the regional trend to close up 0.1 percent.
China's factory sector expanded slightly in January, confounding expectations for a contraction and fuelling hopes the world's second-biggest economy will avoid a hard landing.
China's official PMI rose to 50.5 in January from 50.3 in December, beating market expectations of 49.5 as new orders rose to a three-month high. A level of 50 demarcates expansion from contraction.
And a similar HSBC survey showed the sector contracting the least in three months, further backing the view that a downturn in manufacturing may be bottoming out as the government adopts modest measures to support growth.
Brent crude rose above $111 a barrel, while London copper prices were steady.
On the domestic data front, the January Nationwide British house prices index will be released at 7 a.m., with January's Markit/CIPS British manufacturing PMI, due at 9:28 a.m., forecast to rise to a reading of 50.0 up from 49.6 in December.
Across the Atlantic, January's ADP U.S. national employment report will be eyed at 1:15 a.m. for clues as to Friday's key non-farm payrolls report.
Aside from that, January's U.S. ISM report and December U.S. construction spending data will both be unveiled at 3 a.m.
No FTSE 100 companies will trade ex-dividend this Wednesday.
(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Dan Lalor)