U.K. stocks eked out modest gains on Wednesday as the pound extended a tumble from the previous session on worries about Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking a hard line on Brexit.
The U.K. is due to leave the European Union by January 31, leaving little time for a trade deal to be agreed with the EU.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 19 points, or 0.25 percent, at 7,543 after edging up 0.1 percent on Tuesday.
Mining giant BHP held steady on reports it is feeling its way back into commodities trading.
Pearson rallied 2.4 percent. The publishing and education company announced that it would sell its remaining 25 percent stake in Penguin Random House to partner Bertelsmann.
Plumbing parts distributor Ferguson edged up slightly after appointing Simon Oakland as interim Chief Executive Officer of Wolseley U.K.
British American Tobacco shares gained 1 percent. The company has been ordered to stop promoting e-cigarettes on public Instagram pages, including influencers' accounts.