HSBC sounded an optimistic note following the competition regulator's announcement that it had referred Tesco's acquisition of Booker for a Phase 2 review.
London's top flight index bolted higher, registering its biggest one-day gain since April, after the head of the US central bank appeared to reinforce expectations for a more gradual pace of rate hikes.
The FTSE 100 was led higher on Wednesday by the City rumour mill, dollar weakness and some encouraging trading updates.
London stocks tickled a two-week high on Wednesday thanks to commodities strength and sterling weakness as traders chewed over the pace of central bank easing in coming months.
European stocks are being buoyed by a rising tide in crude oil markets with a small dip in the euro also helping to relieve some of the previous day's selling pressure.
London stocks gained ground on Wednesday morning after two days of losses, as the pound fell.
Barratt Developments claimed to be the UK's largest housebuilder in a trading update on Wednesday, reporting total completions in its full year to 30 June – including those from joint ventures – of 17,395.
A top Bank of England official sounded a relatively 'dovish' note in remarks to the Press & Journal.
Hochschild Mining reported 'robust' attributable production in its second quarter on Wednesday, with 4.2 million ounces of silver, 60,815 ounces of gold, 9.3 million silver equivalent ounces and 126,007 gold equivalent ounces.
Hot weather helped UK retail sales pick up more than expected last month, according to a survey of the sector that indicated a positive contribution to economic growth for the second quarter of the year but perhaps not much longer.