Royal & Sun Alliance led the FTSE 100 up 40.9 points to 4,453.80 by the close after surprising with a profitable quarter.
The insurer rose 5.75p to 80p, its biggest one-day gain this year, after reporting good weather had a calming effect on the number of claims made by customers and reporting a deal with the FSA removed some solvency risk.
Next gained 73p to 1,402p after reporting rising sales thanks to stronger sales through new stores.
BAT led the tobacco sector down with an 8p loss to 820.5p after a US court ruled it may review the dismissal of a massive $145bn lawsuit against the industry in the that country.
Shares opened down sharply in New York earlier today, but recovered since sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average index up about 3 points to 10,049 currently. The S&P 500 index is up about 2 points to 1,099.IFAonline
Third completed acquisition of 2018
March sales figures revealed
Three big drivers
No easy answers
Whatever the weather