The index was up 0.2% at the open as a rise in crude oil prices - ahead of expected production cuts by the OPEC+ group at their meeting today - boosted energy stocks.

Investors will focus on the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report in the United States due later in the day.

Among stocks, NatWest Group added 3.4% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the bank's stock to "overweight" from "neutral".

Dr. Martens dropped 25% after it forecast a fall in annual revenue, and profit below expectations.

BP's hunt for a new chief executive is expected to continue into the first quarter of 2024, as the board investigates whether former CEO Bernard Looney breached the company's code of conduct. Looney's resignation in September has led to a period of uncertainty, with BP Plc shares falling 9% since his departure. Interim CEO Murray Auchincloss has maintained operations and is considered a likely candidate for the permanent role, offering continuity in strategy. The company is set to acquire the remaining 50% stake in its solar power joint venture Lightsource BP for a base equity value of 254 million pounds.

ME Group International forecasts a mixed outcome for the financial year ended October 31, with revenue expected to be at least 298 million pounds, slightly below guidance.

Mitchells & Butlers swung to a pretax loss of 13 million pounds from a profit of 8 million pounds a year ago, despite a 13% increase in total revenue. The company cited significant cost headwinds during the financial year, with operating costs rising by 17%.

Metro Bank plans to lay off 20% of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting initiative aimed at saving up to 50 million pounds per year.

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