A strong performance from oil and mining stocks helped propel the FTSE into positive territory.
Oil giants BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) rose 1.1% to 530p and 1% to £25.61, respectively. Miners Anglo American (AAL) and Antofagasta (ANTO) were up 1.7% and 1%.
The FTSE advanced 0.3% to 7,696.
Brent crude oil was up 0.2% at $68 per barrel.
Business activity growth across the UK service sector helped Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index rise from 53.8 in November to 54.2 in December.
Struggling department store Debenhams (DEB) disappointed the market after like-for-like sales fell in 1.3% in the 17 weeks to 30 December 2017. The company revealed that pre-tax profit for this year will now be between £55m and £65m, causing the shares to crash 13.9% to 30.6p.
The sea of green continued on Wall Street as stronger than expected employment figures kept investor confidence high. The Dow Jones led the charge, trading 0.6% higher at 25,066 around 4:40pm UK time.
MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
In UK equity news, healthcare provider NMC Health (NMC) acquired the outstanding minority stakes in Fakih IVF and As Salama Hospital for $218m, providing the shares with a 5.3% boost to £30.74.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Macau Opportunities Fund (MPO) was up 6.5% at 195p thanks to strong results and a predicted double-digit growth in gaming this year.
Engineering group Costain (COST) reported that full year results will meet the board's expectations, helping the shares tick 1.7% higher to 473p.
Strategic land specialist MJ Gleeson (GLE) nudged 0.9% higher to 799p as it reported first half profits would exceed the prior year.
Digital marketer Be Heard (BHRD) shed 21.2% to 2.2p on a profit warning due to 'unexpected factors.' The firm said profitability for the year to 31 December was expected to fall below market expectations.
There was also bad news from tech specialist Ethernity Networks (ENET) as amendments to contracts are expected to negatively impact sales and profits for 2017. The stock plummeted 39.3% to 78p.
Shares in tech firm Sopheon (SPE) sparked 30.2% higher to 471.5p, driven by expectations that sales and pre-tax profits would beat previous guidance.
Radio networks business CyanConnode (CYAN) reported a 'significant' customer delayed a contract, which would hit revenue and drag it below anticipated levels. Shares in CyanConnode slumped 6% to 18.9p.