The FTSE 100 Index gained 40.90 points, or 0.7%, to 6,067 points today, led by Compass Group after it agreed to sell its travel concession business.
Compass gained 4.03% to 238.75p after the contract caterer confirmed plans to return £500m to shareholders after selling off its SSP travel catering unit to Macquarie and the Swedish Wallenberg family for £1.82bn.
The miners were also on top form as metal prices continued to strengthen. Kazakhmys rallied 2.92% to 1,235p, while Antofagasta rose 3.37% to 2,329p, Anglo American gained 2.87% to 2,405p and Rio Tinto was 1.63% higher at 3,115p.
Financials dominated the fallers with Amvescap down 1.64% to 539p, while Lloyds TSB dropped 0.65% to 536.50p, Man Group fell 1.71% to 2,529p and Barclays dropped 0.64% to 696.60p.
Shareholder Promethean announced today it was considering making a cash offer for London Scottish Bank at 115p for each share, following a spate of rumours in the press recently. London Scottish Bank fell 0.88% to 112.50p.
In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average has added 26.10 points, or 0.2%, to 11,146.14 points as investors anticipate first-quarter earnings reports will show corporate profits are strong enough to overcome higher interest rates.
Alcoa and Micron Technology are expected to announce results after the close of trading. Alcoa has risen 36 cents $32.86 and Micron has lost 31 cents to $14.94.
Exxon Mobil has risen 68 cents to $62.01 and Valero Energy has added $1.64, or 2.7 percent, to $63.04 as crude oil rises following reports the US is planning for military strikes against Iran.
Newmont Mining has gained 44 cents to $53.18, while Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has increased 61 cents to $61.61 as gold rallies 1.6% to $598.50 an ounce and copper reaches a record for a fourth consecutive day.
JPMorgan Chase has also risen 24 cents to $41.94 after it agreed to swap its corporate trust unit for Bank of New York's consumer and small-business bank in a transaction valued at about $3.1bn. Bank of New York shares have fallen $1.49 to $35.34.
Goldman Sachs Group has rallied $2.15 to $163.17 on reports it earned $5.6bn last year on its ability to accurately assess financial risk and stay ahead of other investment banks.IFAonline
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