The FTSE 100 is on the rise for the fourth session in a row on as it is currently up 9.3 points, or 0.17% to 5353.60, with Royal and Sun Alliance leading the gains.
Many stocks continued the strong run seen in the previous session, as PartyGaming added 0.8% to 94.25p, still buoyed by strong figures from rival 888.com, while BG Group has gained 1.06% to 522.5p, on market speculation that Royal Dutch Shell may bid for the company.
Royal and Sun Alliance is showing the biggest gains with a rise of 3.5p, or 3.48%, to 104p, while O2 is currently leading the losers with a 5.38% drop to 198p after Deutsche Telekom's finance chief, Karl-Gerhard Eick, said it was not in the interests of the company's shareholders to bid for the British firm.
On Monday, Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica launched an agreed £17.7bn cash deal to buy O2, prompting market talk that cash-rich Deutsche Telekom might launch a counter-bid.
In Japan share prices closed slightly higher with the Nikkei 225 stock average index rising to its highest point in four years, rising 26.92 points or 0.2% to 13,894.78, at its close a short time ago, supported by the banking and steel sectors.
Mizuho Financial Group jumped 44,000 yen or 5.5% to 847,000, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group surged 60,000 yen or 3.95% to 1,580,000 and Resona Holdings added 9,000 yen or 2.5% to 370,000.
While, in the steel sector, Kobe Steel closed up 17 yen or 4.9% to 365, while Tokyo Steel Manufacturing jumped 65 yen or 4.3% to 1,570. Other steel companies followed suit with Sumitomo Metal Industries rising 14 yen or 3.5% to 417 and Nippon Steel advancing 12 yen or 2.9% to 428.
Sanyo Electric was another winner as it jumped 30 yen or 12.5% to 270 following the appointment of a former official of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking as company vice president, sparking expectations that its main lender would continue to support the struggling consumer electronics maker.
Elsewhere, Mazda, Japan's fifth-largest carmaker, fell 16 yen or 2.85% to 545 after it cut its full-year revenue estimate to 2.82 trillion yen. But it stuck to its net profit forecast of 55 billion yen.
Nippon Sheet Glass also slid 31 yen or 5.9% to 494 after it announced it has entered into talks to acquire Pilkington of the UK.
In the US stocks snapped a two-day rally, with the Dow Jones ending down 33.30 points, or 0.3%, to 10,406.77, after the Federal Reserve signalled it will keep raising interest rates and Dell gave a disappointing forecast.
The central bank raised the benchmark U.S. interest rate by a quarter point to 4%, and said any future increases will be at a ``measured'' pace, causing concern among investors that economic growth will weaken while borrowing costs climb.
Dell slumped $2.64, or 8.3%, to $29.24, after the world's No. 1 personal- computer maker reported third-quarter sales of $13.9bn, which trailed the company's prediction. Sales also missed Dell's forecast in the second quarter. Meanwhile Intel, the world's largest maker of computer chips, also fell $0.85 to $22.65.
Elsewhere TXU retreated $10.31 to $90.44, after the largest electricity supplier in Texas said third-quarter profit excluding some items was $2.35 a share, missing estimates, as higher natural-gas costs cut into earnings.
It was not all bad news though as Viacom added $0.56 to $31.61, after the company reported third-quarter profit, excluding some costs, of $0.47 a share, topping the $0.45 average estimate of analysts.
Computer Sciences, the No. 5 U.S. computer-services company, surged $6.75, or 13%, to $58, after reports Lockheed Martin and three private-equity companies are discussing a purchase price for Computer Sciences of as much as $65 a share. Meanwhile Lockheed lost $0.61 to end at $59.95.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