Most FTSE 100 stocks made gains this morning, helping the index gain about 50 points to 6,240.
Hotels group Intercontinental leads the gainers with a 66p rise to £12.83. Speculation is rife the company is about to receive a takeover bid.
Otherwise gains are spread across the sectors, with just eight stocks falling on the market.
Vedanta Resources leads the miners, with a 28p gain to £11.83.
British Land is up 38p to £16.98.
SAB Miller, the brewing company, is up 24p to £11.90.
BAT, the cigarette maker, is up 25p to £14.49.
However, financials are among the bigger losers.
L&G is down 1.25p to 157p. Friends Provident is down 1.5p to 217.50p. Prudential is down 1.5p to 705p.
In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 index made further gains of 53.96 to 17,223.15 points earlier today on the weak yen, which boosts profits from exports, coupled with speculation the US Federal Reserve will look to cut interest rates in the wake of weaker consumption data.
Isuzu Motors gained 23 yen to 557. Mazda Motor gained 21 yen to 818, while Toyota Motor rose 150 yen to 7,920.
Asian stock markets otherwise are awaiting further news on the damage to telecoms infrastructure from a strong earthquake off Taiwan, which has severely restricted international access to stock market data online.
US stocks made gains overnight on similar expectations, particularly as US government figures may suggest a slowdown in consumption on the back of the effects of interest rate policy in the past few months and still relatively high energy prices. Implications are the Fed will cut rates sooner rather than later.
The Dow Jones Industrial index closed up 64.41 at 12,407.63.
Wal Mart led the gainers, up $0.57 to $46.11.
Microsoft Corp added $0.35 to $29.99, even as industry experts warned organised criminals may be interested in using security holes in the company’s new operating system Vista to carry out operations.
Pharmaceuticals was the sector losing most. Pfizer and Merck & Co both dropped $0.04 to $25.93 and $42.79 respectively.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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