U.K. stocks opened higher on Thursday as the pound held steady and China's central bank announced it would slash banks' reserve requirement ratio by a further 50 basis points from January 6th.
Meanwhile, optimism surrounding the Sino-U.S. trade relations helped investors shrug off weak data showing that British factory output fell in December at the fastest rate since 2012.
In what could be a major milestone in a bilateral trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the phase one trade deal with China will be signed during a White House ceremony on January 15th, and that he would later travel to Beijing to begin negotiations on the next phase.
The British pound held steady after Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured the nation that the U.K. is on the verge of a "new chapter" and that he would "finish the job" by delivering Brexit within weeks.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 65 points, or 0.87 percent, at 7,608 as traders returned to their desks after a public holiday on Wednesday for the New Year.
Tasty Plc shares soared as much as 28 percent. The casual dining restaurants operator announced the sale of its dim t More London restaurant for £2mln in cash and said trading is in line with forecasts.
EQTEC shares jumped 46 percent. The company said it has signed the legal documentation to allow the financial close of the proposed construction and operation of the North Folk 2W biomass project in California.
GSK gained 0.6 percent after reports that Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Sanofi SA are planning to hike U.S. list prices on more than 200 drugs.
Tullow Oil slumped 5 percent. The company announced that the Carpa-1 well in Guyana has discovered high quality oil. However, the amount of oil is lower than its pre-drill forecast.