The FTSE 100 is up 15.5 points, or 0.26%, to 6,089 in early trading as financial stocks lifted the index higher.
Hedge fund Man Group is posting the biggest gains so far with a rise of 13.25p, or 2.8% to 486.5p, closely followed by rival investment firm Amvescap which has climbed 11p, or 1.77% to 633p.
Severn Trent is also performing well with a rise of 2.1% to £15.10, closely followed by miners Vedanta Resources which is up 2.05% to £13.47, while Rio Tinto has climbed 1.9% to £26.24.
On the down side, steelmaker Corus is the biggest drag on the index so far with a drop of 2.77% to 464.75p, closely followed by Tate & Lyle which is down 1.23% to 764p, while Drax group has slipped 1.2% to 782.5p and SABMiller has fallen 0.87% to £10.26.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 31.76, or 0.2%, to 16,368.81 at the 3pm close led by banks after lending rose less than expected last month.
Mitsubishi UFJ, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 50,000 yen, or 3.2%, to 1.53 million, while Mizuho, the No. 2 bank, fell 18,000 yen, or 2%, to 906,000, and Sumitomo Trust & Banking slumped 60 yen, or 4.6%, to 1,248.
Elsewhere, All Nippon Airways, Japan's biggest domestic airline, rose 4 yen, or 0.8%, to 483, while Japan Airlines, Asia's largest carrier, jumped 6 yen, or 2.8%, to 217, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan's second-largest shipping company, gained 26 yen, or 2.9%, to 934.
And Sony, the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, jumped 80 yen, or 1.8%, to 4,590, after London-based Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications said third quarter profit almost tripled to $374m.
In the US yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 15.04 points, or 0.13%, to end at 11,852.13 after high-profile earnings disappointments sullied the outlook for corporate profits and minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting dashed hopes for an interest-rate cut any time soon.
Aluminium producer Alcoa fell 5.1%, or $1.44, to $26.85 after reporting a profit which fell short of Wall Street's expectations, while Genentech fell 2.1%, or $1.76, to $84.15, after the biotech company reported sales of a cancer drug fell short of analysts' expectations.
However, McDonalds was the biggest gainer in the Dow with a rise of 1% to $41.25, closely followed by Altria Group which rose 1% to $78.83, although gains were limited by Caterpillar which dropped 1.07% to $68.32 and by Exxon Mobil which slipped 1% to $66.53.IFAonline
Partner Insight: For Blackfinch, the arrival of its IHT portfolio services was a 'natural evolution' in the group's offering and points to an established track record of returning cash to investors.
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