London trading got off to a positive start after the FTSE 100 rose above the psychologically important 5,000 points barrier yesterday.
Positive news in the travel sector helped offset problems for retailers, and the FTSE 100 was up 9.92 points (0.2%) to 5,014.22.
TUI Travel led the pack on expectations of strong results, up 6.74% to 274p. Rival Thomas Cook yesterday confirmed a 44% stake held by an insolvent German investment vehicle had been placed by creditors and shares added 3.35% to 570p this morning.
Home Retail and Kingfisher, which own some of the UK's biggest retailers, saw shares fall 5.91% and 3.71% respectively, despite the former reporting a rise in sales.
US shares climbed for the fourth trading day in a row on Wednesday on the back of a weakening dollar.
The main Dow Jones index added 49.88 points (0.53%) to 9,547.22.
Manufacturers fared well, hoping a weak dollar will improve export prospects. Caterpillar shares added 3.04% to $48.40, General Electric climbed 2.47% to $14.86 and Boeing shares rose 2.06% to $50.52.
McDonalds shares slipped 2.03% to $55.08 after the fast food giant unveiled disappointing results.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 surged forward, up 201.53 points (1.95%) to 10,513.67 as bank shares recovered from previous losses.
Consultation closes 28 January
SLA's share price has almost halved since merger
Three shifts in sector
Takeover rumours continue
Raised £116m in total