UK stocks : FTSE 100 up 0.9 pct
Markets were also cautious with time running out for U.S. politicians to reach a deal to avoid or reduce the deep tax cuts which will be automatically triggered on Friday.
Wary of the broader macro uncertainty, investors looked for as much clarity as possible on the micro level, punishing any signs of vagueness from corporates.
Petrofac was the top faller among UK blue chips, down 6 percent after the British oil services firm forecast "good growth" but, in contrast to previous years, failed to set a specific target.
In contrast, pump-maker Weir added 7.5 percent after pledging "single digit revenue growth" this year, posting forecast-beating results for 2012 and raising dividends.
"It's more of a bottom-up, stock picking market," said Chris White, UK equity fund manager at Premier Asset Management.
"My approach would be to avoid companies which are too cyclical ... I like companies that I feel are able to deliver whatever the weather," he added, noting insurer Legal & General and supermarket retailer Tesco among the potentially attractive stocks. ($1 = 0.7649 euros)
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