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.
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
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