The FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 6,988.03 by midday, tantalizingly short of the psychologically significant 7,000 level, as investors awaited the influential US non-farm payrolls print later this afternoon.
US futures are pointing a slightly higher open on Wall Street as the market also braces itself for a raft of corporate announcements.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Broadband supplier TalkTalk slumped 7.5% to 103.2p after it warned that its annual earnings would fall short of market expectations due to investment spending and accounting changes.
Mining and trading house Glencore dipped 0.4% to 308.3p as it reported mostly higher annual production across the board as cobalt production surged, though oil production slipped.
Paddy Power Betfair said it had bought a 51% stake in Georgian online gambling company Adjarabet for £101m and had an option to acquire the rest of the company after three years. Its shares advanced 2.3% to £64.15.
Power utility SSE said it had agreed sell a 49.9% stake in its Stronelairg and Dunmaglass wind farms in Scotland to Greencoat UK Wind and a partner for £635m. SSE dipped 0.4% and Greencoat fell 2.9%.
Events and publishing company Informa announced it had sold its life sciences media brands portfolio to US-based MJH Associates for around $100m. Its shares rose 0.4% to 679p.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Advertising firm M&C Saatchi gained 14% to 325p on news it had sold its remaining 24.9% stake in UK media agency Walker Media, trading as Blue 449, to Publicis Groupe for £25m.
Real Good Food dipped 5% to 5.7p on announcing that it had sold loss-making frozen desserts producer Chantilly Patisserie to its management team for £0.2m.
Storage company Lok'nStore sold its document storage business Saracen Datastore to Iron Mountain for £7.6m. Its shares added 3.1% to 415p.