A rise in consumer-focused shares helped push the UK's benchmark share index ahead despite profit-taking in miners and banks.
The FTSE 100, which closed at the highest level in a week yesterday, added 10.8 points to 5,165.42, in the first hour of trading.
Pub and hotel group Whitbread dominated the gainers, up 3.8% to £12.96, ahead of its interim results next week.
The owner of DIY chain B&Q, Kingfisher, was also in favour, up just over 3% to 233.6p, while shares in building materials firm Wolseley also gained.
Meanwhile, investors snubbed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group on continued reports the state-backed banks are looking to wriggle out of the Government's expensive toxic asset programme by tapping shareholders for more cash.
Miners also fell after profits were taken on yesterday's big gains. Antofagasta, Eurasian Natural Resources and Xstrata were some of the big losers.
Overnight in the US, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average got a boost after mining giant Alcoa reported a surprise return to profit in its third quarter, seen as a key indicator as to how other firms sensitive to the economic cycle will fare.
The index closed up 61 points at 9,786.87, while earlier in Japan, the Nikkei also ended higher, up almost 2%, or 184 points, to 10,016.
Exporters led the way as a weaker yen made those firms' products more attractive to dollar investors.
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