The FTSE 100 is making a slow start this morning as it has inched up by 6.4 points, or 0.12%, to 5323.70, despite declines by BP and Royal Dutch Shell as the price of oil is trading at a three-month low.
BP, Europe's largest oil company, has lost 3.5p, or 0.56%, to 620.5p, while Shell, Europe's second-biggest oil company, has retreated 17p, or 0.97%, to 1,734p, as crude oil for December delivery fell 0.5% in early trading to $59.47 a barrel.
Pearson has added 12.5p, or 1.99%, to 640.5p, the company says revenue climbed 10% and operating profit increased 20% in the first nine months of the year as sales of school textbooks rose.
Wolseley, is also on the up as the world's biggest distributor of plumbing and heating equipment, advancing 19p, or 1.7%, to 1,168p. The company says it has bought William Wilson Holdings, a UK building-supplies distributor, for £81m to expand in the market for electrical products.
Elsewhere, Matalan, Britain's largest discount clothing retailer, has dropped 5p, or 3%, to 160p, following a company annoucement on first-half earnings sliding 37% to £18.6m as a slowdown in UK consumer spending caused sales to sag.
TTP Communications, whose wireless software powers the Blackberry handheld e-mailer, has also slipped 3.5p, or 12%, to 26.5p, after the company reported a first-half net loss of £16.2m as competition intensified in Asian markets.
In Japan stocks surged to their highest point in more than four years, as the Nikkei 225 jumped 261.36 points, or 1.9%, to 13,867.86, at its close a short time ago after the Bank of Japan said the nation's seven-year bout of deflation will end by April.
Trading began four and a half hours late after a computer failure caused the Tokyo Stock Exchange to suspend all equities transactions for the first time. The trading session only lasted for an hour and a half after the problem was fixed. The Tokyo Exchange, the world's second largest, said an upgrade last month to handle record transactions caused a breakdown in the computer system.
Related to the problem, Fujitsu, a Japanese supplier of computer servers and phone equipment, declined 12 yen, or 1.6%, to 752, after the Tokyo bourse said it had been using a system provided by Fujitsu since May 2000.
Meanwhile, Mizuho Financial, Japan's second-largest bank by assets, surged 61,000 yen, or 7.9%, to 833,000, while Resona Holdings, Japan's fourth-largest lender, jumped 25,000 yen, or 7.5%, to 360,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the nation's third-largest bank, also climbed 70,000 yen, or 6.5%, to 1.14 million.
Earnings also drove shares higher, as Suzuki, which is 20% owned by General Motors, jumped 145 yen, or 7.3%, to 2,135. The company raised its forecast to a third year of record earnings for the year ending March 31, driven by higher overseas demand.
TDK, Japan's largest maker of disk-drive parts, also ended high after climbing 520 yen, or 6.7%, to 8,330 after raising its full-year profit forecast by 2% and sales forecast by 5.1%.
Bucking the trend, Pioneer, Japan's second-biggest maker of plasma display televisions, lost 17 yen, or 1.2%, to 1,444 after the company had a second-quarter loss and cut its shipment forecasts for plasma televisions and DVD recorders.
Elsewhere, Nippon Sheet Glass, Japan's second-biggest glassmaker, advanced 19 yen, or 3.9%, to 512 after saying it may bid for UK based Pilkington, the world's largest maker of car windshields, as demand for auto glass surges in markets such as China.
In the US, stocks staged their biggest two-day rally in almost a year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 37.30 points, or 0.36%, to 10,440.07, as oil prices dropped and reports showed gains in consumer incomes.
Crude oil for December delivery dropped 2.4% to $59.76 a barrel, the lowest since July 27 and the first two-month decline in New York this year, as warmer-than-normal weather may cut consumption in the US Northeast.
Reports on consumer income and business spending added to evidence that the economy is expanding faster than expected. Consumer incomes increased 1.7% in September, the biggest gain since December 2004, according to the Commerce Department.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, rallied $1.81, or 4%, to $47.31 for the best performance in the Dow average, after the company said October same-store sales rose 4.3%, beating its forecast.
Meanwhile Saks advanced $1.49 to $18.15, after the luxury retailer agreed to sell its Northern department-store chain to Bon-Ton Stores for $1.1bn to focus on rebuilding or selling its Saks Fifth Avenue unit.
Elsewhere, Placer Dome surged $3.44 to $19.95, after Barrick Gold, the world's third-biggest gold producer, made an unsolicited $9.2bn bid for Placer Dome, the fifth-biggest gold miner. Placer Dome investors will get $20.50 a share with 13% in cash and the rest in Barrick shares. Barrick shares dropped $1.95 to $25.25.IFAonline
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