The FTSE Small Cap index <.FTSC> closes up 0.4 percent, while the blue chips <.FTSE> are 1 percent higher, and the midcaps <.FTMC>, rise 1.2 percent.

Straight drops 20.3 percent after the environmental products and services group warns that its headline operating profits will not meet market expectations, with its full-year sales expected to be around 9 percent lower than 2010.

The group says sales in the second half of 2011 have been lower than in the same period in 2010, although there has been an upturn in order intake in the fourth quarter.

WSP Group jumps 26.3 percent as the environmental consultancy confirms in line trading, albeit with some additional exceptional items, and an agreed debt re-financing in a pre-close season update, with traders saying the stock had been oversold in the run-up to the statement.

Shares have been very weak over the last three months down 35.5 percent, compared to the market (-9 percent) and international peers (+2.0 percent). We would expect the shares to rally this morning, Peel Hunt says in a note, repeating its hold rating on WSP.