The FTSE 100 index gained 36.5 points, or 0.6%, to 5,706 points today, helped by a rise in US stocks after two days of heavy losses, as concerns about inflation eased.
Standard Chartered rose 1.34% to £12.83 as news of an 18m share placing undertaken by Morgan Stanley helped revive takeover hopes for the Asia-focused bank.
Confectionery firm Cadbury Schweppes gained 2.09% to 513.5p after it forecast good revenue growth for 2006, but chief executive Todd Stitzer also warned continuing rises in oil prices mean it is unlikely to deliver margin growth within its target ranges in 2006.
Utilities also did well with Severn Trent up 2.33% to £12.30 as a positive “overweight” note from Morgan Stanley overshadowed a downgrade from JP Morgan.
On the downside, online poker giant PartyGaming fell 3.68% to 117.75p on reports two of its founders are expected to sell more than 8% of the company in an accelerated book-building process believed to be starting today.
Sliding copper prices also took Xstrata down 0.15% to £19.36, while Antofagasta fell 0.36% to £19.52 and Kazakhmys declined 2.85% to £10.57.
In the US, the Dow Jones average has added 34.59 points, or 0.3%, to 11,036.73 points after earlier dropping to 10,974.03 points, as falling commodity prices eased concern about inflation.
Boeing has climbed 90 cents to $81.55 after an analyst at Banc of America Securities rated the shares "buy", citing the potential for airline orders and increased defence spending.
Meanwhile, Alcoa has declined 63 cents, or 2.1%, to $30.06 after prices for aluminum lost 0.4% and copper dropped to a two-week low.
Schlumberger, the biggest oilfield-services company, has lost $1.24 to $62.72.
DuPont has lost 81 cents, or 1.9%, to $41.36 after Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of chemical makers to "hold" from "buy", citing slowing economic growth.IFAonline
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation