The FTSE 100 has started the day up 28 points, or 0.45%, to 6,319.9, as bid speculation and a strong demand for miners is pushing the index higher.
Next is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 3.32% to £23.02, following reports of a £25 per share bid offer, while Smith & Nephew is also one of the leading stocks with a rise of 1.85% to 660p.
Miners are also performing well with Kazakhmys up 1.73% to £11.73, closely followed by Rio Tinto which has added 1.72% to £28.94, while BHP Billiton has climbed 1.71% to £11.28.
However Wolseley is the biggest loser with a drop of 1.6% to £12.29, closely followed by Barclays which has declined 1.08% to 733.5p, Cadburys Schweppes has slipped 0.93% to 641.5p, Intercontinental Hotels has dropped 0.79% to £12.48, and SABMiller has fallen 0.64% to £10.93.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 156.91, or 0.9%, to 17,365.05 at the 3pm close, as exporters dropped over economic concerns in the US.
Takeda pharmaceutical fell 180 yen, or 2.2%, to 7,840, as Japan's largest drugmaker trades from today without entitlement to a 60 yen dividend, while NTT DoCoMo, the nation's largest mobile phone operator, slid 3,000 yen, or 1.4%, to 215,000 after new buyers lost the right to the next 2,000 yen dividend.
Elsewhere Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the nation's third- largest bank, declined 30,000 yen, or 2.7%, to 1.09 million, and among exporters Toyota dropped 90 yen, or 1.2%, to 7,730, Sony slid 50 yen, or 0.8%, to 6,210, and Honda Motor lost 60 yen, or 1.4%, to 4,200.
Mitsubishi Estate, Japan's No. 2 property developer, climbed 80 yen, or 2.3%, to 3,790, Mitsui Fudosan, the biggest, rose 70 yen, or 2.1%, to 3,400, Nippon Steel added 10 yen, or 1.2%, to 873, and Advantest, the world's biggest maker of memory-chip testers, slumped 200 yen, or 3.6%, to 5,340
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from earlier heavy losses to end down 11.94 points, or 0.1%, to 12,469.07, as a report in new home sales for February showed an unexpected drop, raising concerns that the economy is slowing more than expected.
Verizon Communications was the biggest loser with a fall of 1.18% to $37.67, closely followed by Merck which declined 0.85% to $44.07, while Home Depot slipped 0.81% to $37.91.
Honeywell International also fell 0.78% to $47.34, while 3M Company slipped 0.76% to $77.38, although losses were limited by Du Pont which advanced 0.65% to end the session at $51.36.
But AT&T posted the biggest gains with a rise of 1.11% to $39.31, closely followed by General Motors which added 0.81% to $32.25, while Microsoft climbed 0.71% to $28.22, and Disney gained 0.66% to $35.22.
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 Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
View from the front row
Project Libra unveiled
Including SJP and investment trusts
Spent two years at Sanlam
Will also assess FCA's actions