UK stocks continued to gain momentum on Wednesday, in line with European and Asian markets, amid rising hopes of trade tensions easing between the US and China.
There is also growing optimism that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates at its meeting on Thursday and reveal another stimulus package to boost the ailing Eurozone economy.
At 1125, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 1%, or 72 points, to 7,340.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
London Stock Exchange Group soared 5.3% to £71.62 after the Hong Kong stock exchange proposed a shock £31.6bn merger, implying a value for each LSE share of £83.61.
But the offer is contingent on LSE dropping the £22bn deal it agreed to buy data giant Refinitiv by the end of the year.
Home builder Galliford Try gained 3.5% to 687p, even as it booked a fall in first-half profit, which came as little surprise to the market amid a slump in construction activity.
Security services provider Serco rose 1.3% to 151p on securing a two-year contract extension from the Australian government to provide onshore immigration detention facilities and detainee services.
Advertising company S4 Capital gained 0.9% to 139p, despite booking a first-half loss owing to acquisition and hiring costs.
The young company, founded by former WPP chief executive Martin Sorrel, also reported a 42% rise in revenue and said it expected 'stronger second-half momentum'.
Wealth manager Man Group added 1.8% to 172p, even as it announced that Jonathan Sorrell would stand down as president and executive director to take on a new role elsewhere.
Wound-care dressing supplier Advanced Medical Solutions slumped 9.4% to 254p after its profit was dented by falling US revenue blamed on competition and delayed product launches.
Facilities management company Mitie dipped 0.5% to 149p as it announced that chief financial officer Paul Woolf was leaving to take up the same role at intellectual property management company CPA Global.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Property portal OnTheMarket firmed 5.1% to 97p after it inked a listing and advertising agreement with housebuilder Barratt Developments.
Performance nutrition company Science in Sport gained 0.6% to 53p, on announcing that it had appointed former Asos operational finance director James Simpson as its new chief financial officer.