The FTSE 100 index has started off on its second day of gains in a row, adding about 12 points to 4,519 this morning, helped by gains by some of its biggest constituent stocks.
BP is up 4.25p to 429p after JPMorgan raised its outlook on the European energy sector.
Shell is up 4p to 364p.
Hilton Group has bounced 5p to 230.5p after reporting a big increase in second half earnings on the back of increased business by its chain of Ladbrokes betting shops.
Tomkins, the car parts maker, is up 3.5p to 253p after reporting a doubling in fourth quarter profit as it managed to cut costs faster than sales slipped.
Abbey is the big loser, down 71.5p or 13% to 478.5p after reporting a second full year of losses, caused by the continued struggle to exit the disastrous foray into corporate banking. Some analysts had even expected a possible small net profit.
The news has dragged down other mortgage lenders.
Norther Rock is down 10.5p to 774p, HBOS is down 9.5p to 747.5p, and Alliance & Leicester is down 6p to 875p.
Unilever is down 1.5p to 562.5p after main competitor Nestle reported its second-half profit climbed 80% on cost cutting.
The FTSE 250 is up about 16 points to 6,260.
United Business Media is up 17p to 565.5p after reporting a drop in losses in 2003 due to cost-cutting.
MFI is down 10.25p to 150.25p after reporting a drop in sales in the two months before Christmas.
US indices closed up yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index gained 35.25p to 10,601.62, while the broader S&P 500 added 4.58 points to 1,143.67.
Nasdaq’s Composite added 17.54 points to 2,022.98.
Shares gained in Tokyo, sending the Nikkei 225 index up 156.56 points to 10,815.29, as the Tokyo Stock Exchange proposed changing its indices to reflect the free float of the stocks represented.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 75.17 points to 13,674.64.IFAonline
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