In early trading the FTSE 100 is up 39.4 points, or 0.61%, to 6,523.9, with Prudential leading the gains.
The insurer is up 4.39% to 785p, after reports a fund manager with a substantial holding in the company wrote to the chairman asking him to explain the Board’s thinking on a potential break-up.
Meanwhile, Unilever is up 3.79% to £16.15, closely followed by Rolls-Royce Group which has added 2.43% to 495p, while Royal Dutch Shell has climbed 2.1% to £18.45.
British American Tobacco has also advanced 2.1% to £16.03, as it reported 10% growth in earnings during the first quarter, but warned currency issues would affect annual growth.
Shire is the biggest loser with a drop of 1.29% to £11.51, closely followed by Rexam which has slipped 1.14% to 520p, while BAE Systems is down 1.12% to 439.5pm WPP has dropped 0.93% to 749.5p, and Standard Life has declined 0.9% to 331.75p.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75.74 points, or 0.58%, to 13,211.88, following a strong reading on factory orders.
General Motors posted the biggest gains with a rise of 3.64% to $32.44, closely followed by Verizon Communications which gained 2.83% to $39.60, while Du Pont advanced 2.39% to $50.54.
American Express also gained 2.32% to $62.74, while McDonald’s added 1.79% to $50.02, although gains were limited by Johnson & Johnson which slipped 0.12% to $64.48.
Procter & Gamble was the biggest loser with a fall of 0.94% to $62.37, closely followed by IBM which slipped 0.92% to $102.22, while AT&T dropped 0.41% to $38.68, and Wal-Mart Stores declined 0.1% to $48.28.
In Japan, the stocks markets are closed today for a national 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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