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
Joined as head of strategy, multi asset, in June
Group income protection
Nine in 10 do not have income protection
Set to become part of Single Financial Guidance Body