UK stocks are set to open firmer despite a mixed showing overnight on US markets.
Spread betting firms indicate the FTSE 100 will open around 17 points higher at 6832.
US stocks were mostly lower overnight, although the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite edged up 4 points (0.1%) to 4.219. In contrast, the Dow Jones shed 65 points (0.4%) at 16,417 while the broader based S&P 500 shed two points (0.1%) at 1,846, after underwhelming results from banking giants Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
In Asia, Hong Kong stocks are on the rise with the Hang Seng index up 200 points (0.9%) at 23,186, but Chinese stocks retreat, with the Shanghai Composite off 22 points (1.1%) at 2,002 on the day the moratorium on new flotations was lifted.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 is off 13 (0.1%) at 15,734.
Chief executive Ralph Topping became embroiled this week in a dispute on the social networking site Twitter, after the Daily Mail ran an article about fixed odds betting terminals, entitled "Gambling's crack cocaine".
The market is betting the bookie's pre-tax profits will be little changed from the previous year at £275mln, on turnover of £1.48bn.