The FTSE 100 index climbed for a second day running, adding 27.90 points to 4,456.80 by the close.
The market in London got a boost from forecasts of stronger economic growth this year from chancellor Gordon Brown in his Budget speech, coupled with reports from the US of a big jump in earnings by logistics firm Federal Express.
Fedex said strengthening global trade, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, was boosting earnings.
The FTSE also got a shot in the arm from moves upwards by two of its three biggest stocks BP and Vodafone.
Reuters led the gainers with a 22p rise, or more than 6% to 381p after announcing the buyout of the remaining 50% of Icor Brokerage, a treasuries trading platform, it did not already own.
J Sainsbury gained 7.25p to 299p after the government today said it would act if the Office of Fair Trading.
Vodafone added 3p to 133.5p after a German court heard evidence that payments made to former Mannesmann executives when the company was taken over by the UK mobile phone operator in Europe’s biggest ever takeover were discussed and cleared for legal purposes by the board of the German company.
British Land fell 17p to 633p after the government delayed its commitment to new rules that would enable property companies to turn themselves into more tax efficient property investment trusts.
Land Securities likewise fell 22.5p to 1,040p.
The FTSE 250 index climbed 49.7 points to 6,209.1.
Wimpey, seen as more of a house builder than a property developer, added 32p to 430p after chancellor Gordon Brown revealed no new increases in stamp duty on house sales.
Persimmon added 36p to 688p for the same reason.
Slough Estates, a builder of business parks, fell 19p to 446.5p, not because of policy announcements, but because it reported a fall in the value of its assets as the pace of new building slowed.
Trading in New York has been brisk this afternoon, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average index up about 100 points to 10,285 currently. The S&P 500 index is up about 12 points to 1,122.IFAonline
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