The FTSE 100 is up 9.4 points, or 0.15%, to 6,229.7 in early trading as bid speculation is now focusing on property stocks.
Hammerson is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 4.47% to £17.29, closely followed by Land Securities which is up 1.93% to £21.65, while Cadbury Schweppes has advanced 2.05% to 648p.
SABMiller has climbed 1.85% to £11.02, while insurer Aviva has added 1.65% to 771.5p, although gains are being limited by Whitbread which has slipped 1.81% to £18.99 as investors wait to see if yesterday’s bid speculation results in an offer.
Bradford & Bingley are the biggest losers so far with a drop of 3.47% to 445.25p, closely followed by HSBC Holdings which declined 1.73% to 882.5p, while Smiths Group dropped 0.96% to £10.30, and Unilever slipped 0.87% to £14.82.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up yesterday with a rise of 61.93 points, or 0.51%, to 12,288.1, following a positive housing report from the government.
Wal-Mart posted the biggest gains with a rise of 1.52% to $47.30, closely followed by Exxon Mobil which advanced 1.27% to $72, while Caterpillar added 1.08% to $64.86, and McDonald’s gained 1% to $44.31.
General Motors also climbed 0.89% to $29.35, while just four stocks ended the session lower with Hewlett-Packard dropped 1.49% to £39.61, while Intel slipped 0.63% to $18.99, Boeing fell 0.18% to $90.16, and Honeywell International declined 0.15% to $47.15.
The stock markets in Japan are closed today for the vernal equinox holiday.
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