Better-than-expected economic data from the US spurred buying activity in Tokyo on Thursday, but raised only a tiny cheer in London.
The Dow Jones closed Wednesday more than 89 points up, or 1.2%, to 7,749 after figures showed home sales and orders for cars and household appliances thrashed forecasts.
But in the UK the FTSE only marginally advanced in early trading, climbing less than five points, or 0.15%, to 3,894 shortly after 9am.
Hedge fund giant Man Group advanced more than 12% despite forecasting a 43% dip in annual profits for 2008/9.
Profit before tax is expected to dive $1.2bn in the 12 months to 31 March from $2.1bn a year earlier, it revealed on Thursday, while funds under management fell by more than a third to $47.7bn. Both sets of results were above expectations.
Elsewhere, mining firm Kazakhmys advanced 4.4% while Lloyds Banking Group, fresh from agreeing a deal which will see Bank of Scotland take a near 20% stake in Midas Capital, climbed 4.2%.
Meanwhile, Friends Provident slipped more than 2.5% to 64.3 following a rating downgrade from Goldman Sachs, while British Airways and Standard Chartered were both approaching 2% dips.
Japanese shares rose sharply on Thursday following the key US economic data.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average gained 156.34 points, or 1.84%, to 8,636. The broader Topix index added just over 1% to 826.83.IFAonline
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