Balfour Beatty said US President Donald Trump's tax cuts will result in a one off £20m non-cash credit from the revaluation of US deferred tax liabilities.
China's economy grew more quickly than expected in 2017, according to both official and private sector estimates, but some economists believed the official figures belied the extent of the slowdown in the fourth quarter.
Wall Street continued to push higher, with the Dow Industrials clambering above the 26,000 point mark on Wednesday and the S&P 500 rising past 2,800 points, helped by upbeat economic data and tech giant Apple's announcement that it would repatriate part of its overseas cash hoard.
Swedish construction and project development company Skanska announced on Wednesday that it planned to shift its focus towards its business in the UK, laying off 3,000 of its employees across the globe as part of an effort to improve profitability following a strategic review initiated in 2017.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have plunged to four-week lows due to a loss of confidence sparked by regulatory proposals in South Korea and the unknown result of the expiry of initial futures contracts.
European stocks were mixed on Wednesday as inflation remained subdued and European Central Bank talk pushed the single currency lower.
Industrial production in the States surged ahead last month, boosted by sharply higher output from both mining and utilities.
US stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday as strength in the technology sector and a solid reading on industrial production helped to offset a fall in banking shares after quarterly updates from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, as investors eyed speeches by Federal Reserve officials.
Sentiment among US housebuilders deteriorated a little as expected in January, according to data released on Wednesday.
US-banking giant Goldman Sachs beat Wall Street estimates with the release of its fourth-quarter profits on Wednesday, but sweeping tax code changes signed into law by the President in December dragged the group to its first quarterly loss in six years.
Australia filed a trade complaint against Canada on Tuesday, accusing the North American nation of placing "discriminatory" regulations on the sale of wine imported from abroad.
Bank of America posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, even as it took a big hit from US tax reforms.
Drax said on Wednesday that it plans to complete work on the conversion of a fourth unit to biomass in the second half of this year, returning it to service in late 2018.
Eurozone inflation was confirmed at the subdued level of 1. 4% last month, keeping the issue at the forefront of the European Central Bank's thoughts.
US stocks looked set for a firmer open on Wednesday, rebounding from losses in the previous session as investors eyed earnings from the likes of Bank of America and Goldman Sachs and a series of speeches by Federal Reserve officials.