As BP reported record quarterly profits the FTSE managed to add about 5 points to 4,569, helped by news from the world of advertising and consolidation moves in the insurance sector.
WPP is up 9p to 532.5p as advertising spending in the US remains high ahead of the presidential elections there.
Friends Provident is up 2.25p to 137.75p after announcing a deal to buy Lombard International Insurance for 265m euros in shares.
Prudential has followed, up 4.75p to 393.5p.
Royal & Sun Alliance is up 0.75p to 74.5p.
BP is down 3.5p to 534p despite reporting a 53% increase in quarterly profits, after it said oil prices could be pressed if the US gets production in the Gulf of Mexico up to speed again following a disastrous hurricane season.
Unilever is down 2.75p to 440.5p as the Anglo-Dutch household products giant is expected by analysts to report another drop in quarterly profits when it reports tomorrow.
Indices closed down marginally in the US overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 7.82 points to 9,749.99 after General Motors, the biggest car maker, saw its long-term debt downgraded. The stock shed $0.77 to $37.04.
Asian markets gained earlier this morning, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 34.25 points to 12,852.35 after China’s biggest oil company reported record profits.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 13.31 points to 10,672.46, staging a slight recovery from the battering on Monday that followed the weekend’s big earthquake in Japan.IFAonline
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till