The FTSE 100 advanced in early trading on Tuesday buoyed by stronger-than-expected results in the retail arena.
At shortly before 8.30am, the index had climbed more than 63 points, or 1.68%, to reach 3,826. It was also helped by near 3% gains in the basic materials sector and an increase of 2.3% for financials.
Marks and Spencer tops the winner's table, rising 10.3% to 291.75p, after it released better-than-expected results for Q4 2008. The retailer's underlying sales slipped 4.2% but analysts had been anticipating a decline between 6.5% and 7.5%.
Elsewhere, Barclays advanced 5.9% to 157.9p while mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources rose 5.83% to 440.5p.
Resource companies, meanwhile, took a hit on Tuesday with Randgold Resources down 0.62% to £36.76 and Lonmin down 0.38% to £13.04.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 1.5% on Tuesday - the final day of the Japanese financial year - with financials suffering as a result of continuing concerns about the health of European and American banks.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed Monday down 3.3% to 7,522, after the White House rejected the latest financial plans from both General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, and insisted on the departure of GM CEO Rick Wagoner.IFAonline
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