Confidence is expected to keep climbing on the UK stock exchanges this morning, following an already...
Confidence is expected to keep climbing on the UK stock exchanges this morning, following an already buoyant start, thanks largely to the renewed progress being made by coalition troops in Iraq.
It is mainly Prudential, BT Group and Xstrata which have helped to the FTSE 100 up another 70.9 points or 1.9% so far this morning, to 3885 points.
Xstrata, the world's fourth-biggest coal exporter, is being encouraged by the City after the South African firm agreed to buy rival MIM Holdings for A$4.9bnbn in cash and debt.
Prudential, the life insurer, is also up 12p or 3.5% to 354p while BTGroup has gained 7.75p or 4.5% to 179p.
However, William Morrison Supermarkets is down after the Times reported it may have to sell almost 80 stores to get the approval it needs to sell the company to rival bidders. WM is currently down 1.75p or 1% to 179.5p.
A similar rally has occurred in Asian markets, as all eyes fall on Baghdad again. Toyota Motor, Samsung Electronics and other exporters were the usual suspects to see most activity.
The Nikkei 225 closed up 2.2% to 8249.98 and the South Korean Kospi had its biggest gain in more than a year.
Toyota saw it value rise 2.9% to Yen2,710 thanks to the war in Iraq, because it relies on exports to make its profits and activity of this kind is likely to spark some form of economic recovery eventually in the US.
The Kospi jumped 27.89 to 585.90 and had its biggest percentage gain since Valentine's Day 2002 after Samsung Electronics added 5.5% to won299,000.
And Murdoch's New Corp helped to push the S&P/Australian 200 index up 45.9 points to 2979.4 by close of play as News Corp rose 3.2% to A$11.70.
This may all be in part the result of strong trading in the US on Friday, after the Dow Jones closed up 36.77 points to 8,277.15.
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