The FTSE 100 is up 5.5 points, or 0.1%, to 5,592.9, supported by gains in leisure firm Hilton after it confirmed that bidders were interested in buying its Ladbrokes gambling arm.
Hilton Group has risen 10.25p, or 2.87%, to 367.25p, while shares in Ladbrokes rival William Hill have gained 17p, or 3.23%, to 543p.
Shares in BAE Systems are also on the rise, up 17.25p, or 4.66%, to 387.25p, in the wake of news of a deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia to supply the world's top oil exporter with fighter aircraft that could be worth as much as £10bn.
On the downside, shares in Tate & Lyle have dropped 7p, or 1.24%, to 559p, after dealers said UBS cut its recommendation on the stock to "reduce".
Elsewhere, among property stocks, Minerva has climbed 2p, or 0.73%, to 275p, after newspaper reports of market talk that a shareholder was building a sizeable stake in the property company, which is developing the Park Place shopping centre in Croydon.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 16.20 points, or 0.1%, to 15,941.37 at its close a short time ago, as stocks recovered earlier losses, thanks to technology shares such as Sony.
Sony, the maker of the PSP portable game console and Vaio computers, gained 230 yen, or 5.2%, to 4,630, while, Sanyo Electric, the world's biggest maker of rechargeable batteries, surged 54 yen, or 19%, to 337.
Meanwhile, Alps, Japan's second-largest maker of magnetic heads for hard disk drives, slumped 230 yen, or 12%, to 1,640, while its biggest rival TDK dropped by the exchange's daily imposed limit of 1,000 yen, or 10%, to 8,690.
Carmakers performed well, with Toyota Motor, the world's most valuable carmaker rising 120 yen, or 2%, to 6,000, while Honda Motor, Japan's No.3 carmaker, gained 60 yen, or 0.9%, to 6,870.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 28.18 points, or 0.26%, to end at 10,833.73, as stocks snapped four days of losses and rose on Wednesday after FedEx reported strong results, lifting transport stocks, and after a wave of deals in the technology and real estate sectors.
FedEx shares climbed 5.29%, or $5.21, to an all-time closing high of $103.70, while shares of rival United Parcel Service rose 1.9% to $76.62.
General Motors hit a new low in composite trading, falling 4.03% to $19.05 and ranking as the biggest weight on the Dow, following the sale of 12 million shares by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's investment arm.
Meanwhile, GE dropped 0.6%, or $0.22, to $35.32, after reports the conglomerate and other investors are in advanced talks to buy real estate investment trust Arden Realty in what would be one of GE's largest real estate purchases.
Seagate Technology announced plans to buy rival computer disk-drive maker Maxtor for $1.9bn in stock, aiming to cut costs and drive development of new products. Maxtor shares jumped 53.3%, or $2.41, to $6.93.
IBM, the world's biggest computer company, climbed 0.8%, or $0.64, to $83.12, as it said it would buy software developer Micromuse for about $865m.IFAonline
Replacing outgoing Phil Loney
162,000 DB transfers taken place
Track auto-enrolment pots
Latest news and analysis