The FTSE 100 has risen 13.5 points, or 0.2%, to 6094.9 points this morning, paced by interbank broker ICAP.
ICAP has surged 8% to 516p after it agreed to pay $775m in cash for EBS, an electronic currency trading system, as it expands computer-based transactions.
Pearson has climbed 7.5p, or 1%, to 765p. The publisher of the Financial Times said the company made a "good start" in 2006 and sales are "in line with expectations".
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are pacing declining stocks as metal prices fall. BHP has declined 1% to 1137p, while Rio Tinto has also tumbled 1% to 3,044p.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 86.43 points, or 0.5%, to 17,403.96 points, led by Honda Motor and Sony on speculation they will report higher earnings starting next week.
Honda gained 360 yen, or 4.6%, to 8,120 yen, Toyota added 180 yen, or 2.7% to 6,900 yen and Nissan Motor rose 39 yen, or 2.7%, to 1462 yen.
But steelmakers dropped, with Nippon Steel down 2 yen, or 0.5%, to 432 yen and Tokyo Steel Manufacturing 25 yen, or 1%, lower at 2,420 yen.
Tokyo Steel full-year net income fell 33% to 33.9bn yen from a year ago, as it cut prices and production. It said it expects earnings to decline this business year because of higher costs and as competition from China reduces margins.
In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average ended at the highest level in six years, up 64.12 points, or 0.57%, to end at 11,342.89 points as encouraging quarterly reports from companies such as General Motors increased optimism about earnings.
GM shot up 10.1%, or $2.07, to $22.64 after the car manufacturer posted a narrower first-quarter net loss that beat expectations.
Shares of Altria Group rose 1.6%, or $1.08, to $70.04 after it reported a profit that beat estimates by a penny.
Bank of America's profit also beat estimates and its shares rose 0.5%, or 23 cents, to $46.28.
But energy-related shares such as Exxon Mobil slipped as US crude oil for May delivery fell 22 cents to settle at $71.95 a barrel.
Exxon Mobil fell 0.6%, or 38 cents, to $63.92.IFAonline
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