- Hints of fresh stimulus for the Eurozone economy from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi helped perk up markets on Tuesday.

By midday the FTSE 100, which had traded modestly lower early on was up 0.8% at 7,414.62.

In the US, where all eyes are on the Federal Reserve's rate decision tomorrow, futures markets are pointing to a higher open.


Equipment rental group Ashtead gained 2.7%, as its annual profits jumped by a fifth on the back of strong demand in North America.

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca also added 2.1%, at it announced that that it and partner Merck had gained approval from the European Commission for an ovarian cancer drug.

Component and system supplier Meggitt was flat, despite it securing a contract with Textron for the supply of fire protection systems.

Self-storage company Safestore fell 0.2% as it reported a 53% fall in first-half profit. The drop owed to a reduced gain on the value of its investment properties, which offset a rise in underlying earnings.

Utility services provider Telecom Plus added 3.4% on reporting a 4.9% rise in annual profit, buoyed by new customer wins.


Video game developer Team17 rose 10.9% after it guided for revenue and operating earnings for the current year to be ahead of market expectations.

Specialty finance provider 1pm gained 2.8% after subsidiary Positive Cashflow Finance reported profits in excess of earn-out targets set at the time it was acquired in July 2017.

Business software supplier K3 fell 0.2% on announcing that it expected its full-results would be more second-half weighted than usual.

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