In London, shares were boosted by strong sales figures released in the US, which caused the Dow Jones to reach a record high, and the FTSE 100 began the day up by 17.8 points, or 0.27%, to 6,715.5.
Man Group shares saw the biggest gains in early trading, up 11 points, or 1.78%, to 627.5p. Old Mututal shares gained 2.9 points, or 1.71%, to 172.6p, followed by Alliance & Leicester, up 18 points, or 1.63%, to £11.20.
Centrica shares added 5.5 points, or 1.44%, to 386.25p and Standard Chartered rose by 23 points, or 1.4%, to £16.65.
Antofagasta shares lost some of yesterday’s gains and fell by 8.5 points, or 1.19%, to 707p. Cadbury Schweppes lost 5.5 points, or 0.83%, to 658p, and Kingfisher shares declined by 1.75 points, or 0.78%, to 223p.
On Wall Street, reports of strong consumer sales helped lift the Dow Jones to a record high by the end of Thursday, up 283.86, or 2.09%, to 13,861.73.
Alcoa saw the biggest gains due to takeovers in the aluminum sector, up 2.86, or 6.74%, to 45.29. Intel shares rose by 1.43, or 5.82%, to 26, American Express gained 3.05, or 5.06%, to end the day on 63.33.
Merck shares gained 1.87, or 3.82%, to 50.77, and Hewlett-Packard shares added 1.7, or 3.72%, to 47.35.
Due to an exceptional day of trading in the US, there were no losses amongst the Dow Jones companies.
In Tokyo, shares also performed well due to good trading in the US with the Nikkei 225 finishing the day up by 254.81, or 1.4 percent, to 18,238.95.
Canon, the camera manufacturer, gained 120 yen, or 1.7%, to 7,180 and Nintendo shares advanced by 550 yen, or 1.1%, to 50,200.
Mitsubishi Materials shares climbed 37 yen, or 5.2%, to 745 and Sumito Metal Mining gained 40 yen, or 1.4%, to 2,890.
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Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till