The FTSE 100 climbed 0.2% to 7,116 after a directionless overnight session. Gains in the US and Japan were tempered by flat performance in China and losses in India and Hong Kong.
Dollar strength accounted for most of the falls in sterling and euro over the last 24 hours. The pound fell against the dollar by 0.6% to $1.23, while the euro continued to strengthen against sterling, currently at €1.11.
Gold gained 1.4% to $1,258 per ounce and copper weakened by 0.5% at $4,806 per tonne.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales rose 1.3% year-on-year in September having fallen 0.3% in August.
MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Specialist fit fashion purveyor N Brown (BWNG) jumped 15% higher after delivering half year results ahead of expectations, which was encouraging considering a tough spring/summer season for the retail sector.
Global lifestyle brand Ted Baker (TED) was in positive territory on better-than-expected half year results, which was driven by good growth in the US and a strong licensing performance. Pre-tax profits rose by over a fifth to £21.5m and the dividend was hiked to 14.8p.
Housebuilder McCarthy & Stone (MCS) reassured investors with an optimistic trading update that revealed stronger reservations and normal cancellation rates after sales slowed immediately after the EU referendum.
Net fee income growth at recruiter PageGroup (PAGE) fell from 3.7% in the second quarter of 2016 to 1.3% in the three months to 30 September. All but one of the professional services specialist's four global regions declined at constant currency, with Europe gaining 10.4%. Shares traded 4.2% higher at 363.5p.
Chief executive David Hummel at Victrex (VCT) said its financial year to 30 September finished strongly, though full-year reported revenues are expected to be down around 4%. Revenue and volume grew in the second half of the year but Hummel was cautious on performance in the year ahead due to weak demand for consumer electronics. Shares rose 7% to £17.38.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
React Energy (REAC) sparked 14.7% to 4p after signing a conditional heads of agreement with several parties to potentially fund the repowering of its 4MW biomass gasification project in Northern Ireland.
Home improvement group Entu (ENTU) crashed 18.4% to 20p following a downbeat update that revealed EBITDA outturn for the year to 31 October 2017 is expected to be materially below expectations.
Translation business RWS (RWS) was 11.8% higher at 281.3p on record results after the acquisition of two businesses over the past 12 months. Revenue and adjusted profit before tax for the year to 30 September would not be 'not less than' £122m and £30.5m, respectively.
Shares in Prairie Mining (PDZ) soared 29% to 15.5p after it bought the Debiensko coking coal mine in Poland, previously the flagship growth project of New World Resources. Prairie paid €2m for the asset, which was subject to significant levels of planning.
Pure Gym cancelled its London IPO due to market volatility. Chief executive Humphrey Cobbold said: 'The board has decided not to proceed with a listing despite the strong interest shown by potential investors.'