The FTSE 100 rebounded in early trading as mining stocks continued to edge up.
In London copper prices climbed and are on track for a more than 10 per cent first-quarter gain. However more sluggish demand from China is still casting a shadow.
Among miners Kazakhmys and Antofagasta were the star performers, up two per cent, while Vedanta and Rio Tinto lifted by 1.7 per cent.
Also in the sector BHP Billiton put on 0.9 per cent.
But engineer GKN was the fastest climber on the blue chip index, up three per cent. Meanwhile in banking Lloyds had a slim 0.19 per cent lift, Barclays 1.5 per cent and RBS 0.1 per cent.
On the down side starches and sweeteners giant Tate & Lyle was the biggest faller, down more than one per cent despite giving an upbeat trading statement covering the first three months of 2012.
Other stocks to nudge down were Scottish and Southern Energy, 0.7 per cent, and Vodafone 0.6 per cent.
Imperial Tobacco was off by 0.6 per cent after investors reacted negatively to results announced yesterday.
Shares in the FTSE-250 listed London Stock Exchange edged up after it reported solid trading in 2011. The exchange said net treasury income, which is the interest it charges for deposits through its clearing unit, "remained strong" in the first quarter of 2012.
European stocks rose in early trade as bargain hunters jumped in following a sharp three-session drop, betting that Eurozone finance ministers will agree to double the region's bailout funds in a meeting later today.
In Asia the Nikkei closed down 0.3 per cent while the Hang Seng was off by 0.2 per cent.
In UK economic news the headline consumer confidence index, based on a survey by GfK NOP, fell to -31 in March from -29 in February, the lowest since December and confounding expectations for a modest improvement.