The export-oriented FTSE 100 edged higher on Monday, with miners leading gains, while Vodafone rose after it announced that Chief Executive Nick Read would step down.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.1% at 0912 GMT, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose 0.2%.
Miners added 0.8%, tracking base and precious metals prices that rose as the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in top consumer China boosted sentiment.
Vodafone Group gained 0.2% after the mobile network operator said Chief Executive Nick Read would step down at the end of this year and be replaced on an interim basis by finance chief, Margherita Della Valle.
“Investors are welcoming the leadership change today,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.
“Under his tenure as CEO, shares in Vodafone are down by nearly 50% and he earlier announced an ambitious one-billion-euro cost-cutting strategy to offset the pressures from inflation.”
Meanwhile, traders await business activity reading at 0930 GMT. The reading is expected to show that the economy is still in contraction at 48.3, as per a Reuters poll.
Still, the Bank of England is expected to undertake a 50-basis point rate hike the following week as it focuses on getting inflation under control, while risking a slowdown in economic activity.
“We’ve got the Russian-Ukraine crisis, an energy crisis, inflation and forecasts of a recession alongside the EU. So, frankly, I don’t expect there to be any surprising reaction to this data at all because we already are expecting a recession in Europe,” said Giles Coghlan, Chief Market Analyst at HYCM.
Among stocks, Cineworld Group PLC’s jumped 3.1% after its lenders held talks on breaking up the bankrupt cinema chain and selling its eastern Europe operations, as per a Bloomberg report. (Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)