The FTSE 100 index has started solidly this morning, adding 9.1 points to 4852.3 points, as Cable & Wireless continues its rally.
The benchmark index was led in early trading by Cable & Wireless, which was up 3p to 122p, after analysts raised its shares from ‘underperform’ to ‘in-line’, while Sainsbury’s is trading well this morning picking up 6.75p to 284.25p.
Prudential has also gained 8.75% to 464.75p, after revealing its new life and pensions business increased 19% in 2004 on better sales in the UK and Europe.
In contrast, banking firm Northern Rock has declined 19p to 779p.
In the US yesterday, the Dow Jones added 92.95 points to 10,461.56 points at its close last night after, its highest earnings for more than a month.
The benchmark broke a four-day decline as the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence reached a six-month high on reports of economy growth and more available jobs.
Drug firm Merck & Co added $1.10, or 3.7%, to $30.95, while Disney, whose studio division distributed ‘The Aviator’ and ‘Finding Neverland’, strong Oscar favourites this year, increased $0.85 to $28.80.
Johnson & Johnson also added $2.23 to $63.72.
And in the far East, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index grew 0.9% to 11,376.57 today,led by automaker stocks.
Toyota added 1.5% to 4,050 yen, along with Nissan Motor adding 1.4% to 1,115 yen.
Along with Honda, the country's three largest automakers yesterday reported an extended global production for December, while increasing sales in North America, Europe and Asia.
Steelmaker, JFE Holdings, also gained 2.7% to 2,885 yen.IFAonline
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