The FTSE 100 has moved slightly higher by 0.3 points, or 0.01%, to 5,440.1, as weaker fuel prices have eased concerns over inflation and company costs.
Cairn Energy has advanced 90p, or 5.11%, to 1850p, after providing an operational update, while oil prices have slipped to a 15-week low to $58.93 a barrel, after an increase in US crude stocks has added pressure to a market already reeling from lacklustre demand in growth and mild weather.
Online gaming firm PartyGaming, has extended yesterday’s rise with an advance of 1p, or 1.1%, to 91.5p, after reports its possible takeover of rival Empire Online may not go ahead.
Meanwhile, telecoms firm Vodafone has risen 1.25p, or 0.83%, to 149.25p, after Dutch Bank ING raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold".
On the downside, shares in BT have fallen 5p, or 2.33%, to 209.5p, after it posted second-quarter core earnings which matched the lower end of analysts' forecasts.
The market is also awaiting the Bank of England’s interest rate decision this morning, which is widely expected to keep the cost of borrowing steady at 4.5%, after cutting from 4.75% in August.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rebounded from earlier losses to close at its highest since May 2001, as it rose 8.68, or 0.1%, to 14,080.88, at its close a short time ago.
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Japan's former telephone monopoly, jumped 19,000 yen, or 3.4%, to 583,000, after raising its net income forecast to 525 billion yen from a May projection of 440 billion yen.
Funai, which lost a third of its value in the past year, surged by the daily exchange-imposed limit of 1,000 yen to 10,430 after the consumer electronics maker had better-than-expected earnings and raised its full-year profit forecast. Tokyo Electron, the world's second-largest maker of semiconductor production equipment, also made gains as it advanced 139 yen, or 2.1%, to 6,270, after it reported a quarterly profit compared with a loss a year earlier.
Millea, Japan's largest casualty and property insurer by premium income, dropped 100,000 yen, or 4.6%, to 2.06 million, while Sompo Japan Insurance, the nation's third-largest non-life insurer by premium income, lost 56 yen, or 3.3%, to 1,636, after analysts cut its rating on the insurance industry.
Elsewhere shipping stocks also fell, as Nippon Yusen K.K, Japan's biggest shipping company, lost 20 yen, or 2.8%, to 704, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan's biggest tanker owner, slid 28 yen, or 3.2%, to 836.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended slightly higher by 6.49 points, or 0.06%, to end at 10,546.21, as the lowest oil prices in more than three months boosted retailers like Wal-Mart Stores, while General Motors hit a 13-year low on concerns about a possible strike at its main auto parts supplier.
Shares of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, rose 1.2%, or $0.59, to $48.20 to help give the Dow a major lift. Wal-Mart's shares are sensitive to swings in oil prices because their customers include people on fixed incomes.
But General Motors shares slid to a 13-year low, as it dropped $1.24, or 4.8%, to $24.63, amid increasing concerns that workers at Delphi, its largest auto parts supplier, could go on strike. There also are worries that GM, the world's largest automaker, has underfunded its pension plans.
Meanwhile, shares of Chevron and ConocoPhillips fell despite crude oil falling $0.78 to settle at $58.93 a barrel, the lowest price since July 22.
Chevron's stock slid 1.9%, or $1.09, to $56.77, while ConocoPhillips dropped 1.5%, or $1.02, to $65.59, after reports of federal subpoenas in connection with an inquiry into why gasoline prices are so high. In contrast, Exxon Mobil ended slightly higher, up 0.2%, or $0.13, to $57.50.IFAonline
Despite improved risk appetite
FOS award limit increase
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Ceremony will take place 13 November