Europe's main stock markets were mixed on Tuesday as London played catch-up with Frankfurt and Paris following a public holiday break in Britain.
London's FTSE 100 index of top companies climbed 0.52 percent from Friday's closing level to stand at 6,850.96 points around midday in the capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.35 percent from Monday's finish to 9,927.32 points but the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.03 percent to 4,525.59.
The euro was lower versus the US dollar and British pound.
"Markets in the UK are set to play catch-up... after the long weekend as other European markets posted strong gains on Monday," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at Alpari traders.
"With (ECB chief) Mario Draghi set to give a speech later this afternoon on the state of the eurozone economy, all eyes will focus on hearing any hints on a change in monetary policy."
Speaking Monday, he said that the European Central Bank is "alert" to the risks of persistently low inflation, amid speculation of further interest rates cuts to avert possible deflation.
Italy led European stock markets higher on Monday in a robustly positive reaction to European Parliament elections which put conservatives in a leading position, but also gave anti-EU forces a huge boost in France and Britain.
In foreign exchange deals on Tuesday, the euro slid to $1.3642 from $1.3651 late in New York on Monday.
The European single currency dropped to 80.97 British pence from 81.03 pence.
The British pound edged higher to $1.6848 from $1.6844 on Monday.
Asian stock markets mostly fell on Tuesday, retreating from the previous day's gains, but Tokyo bucked the trend as the yen dipped against the dollar, while the euro edged up after suffering losses in the previous session.
Wall Street was set to reopen on Tuesday after the US had its own long holiday weekend.
- AstraZeneca shares down -
On the corporate front, shares in AstraZeneca slipped 1.79 percent to £42.50 pence, one day after US drugmaker Pfizer scrapped its controversial takeover bid for the British pharmaceuticals giant.
Pfizer's announcement on Monday put an end to a long-running saga that drew widespread attention over fears that British jobs and research capability would be lost and accusations that the tie-up was a cynical ploy by Pfizer to pay less tax.
The improved and "final" bid, pitched at £55 per share, was rejected last week by AstraZeneca's management who wanted at least £58.85.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) jumped 4.72 percent to £23.31 on reports that it was facing a takeover bid from an unnamed US company.
"Intercontinental Hotels has reportedly said 'no' to a £6.0 billion ($10.1 billion, 7.4 billion euros) bid, and yet again suspicions are rife that a US firm is looking to engage in some fancy tax footwork by domiciling in Britain.
"If such an attempt were to succeed, it would likely be the first and last of its kind since Congress would try to act quickly to stop any more US firms heading for the departure lounge."
London-listed IHG, which owns the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn chains, said it would not comment on the speculation.