The FTSE opened higher on Thursday, supported by mining and oil stocks, as traders reacted positively to renewed U.S. confidence following a near record breaking high on Wall Street on Wednesday.
Oil and gas producers topped the gainers, with BP up 0.95 percent, Royal Dutch Shell up 0.75 percent, and BG Group up 0.54 percent.
Dana Petroleum was down 1.3 percent after the oil and gas explorer posted its earnings for the first half of the financial year, however.
It's very quiet and stale, a trader said. The market's flat but the oil stocks might have a good press on today as oil price has had a good rally up from $60 up to $63.
Miners also performed well early on as copper prices extended their weekly gains. Anglo American jumped 1.7 percent, Rio Tinto was up 1.2 percent, and BHP Billiton up 1.1 percent.
By 8:23 a.m., the FTSE 100 was up 6.2 points or 0.1 percent, at 5,936.3 points.
I think there's a good chance that the FTSE could end up in positive territory again, a trader said. We've seen a bit of a rally on copper and on oil overnight, so we think that might take the FTSE up into positive territory, Obviously people still sniffing around for M&A activity, so I don't think there's a downside on the FTSE at the moment, unless there's some catastrophic news is very strong in the next day or two.
Shares in HMV Group opened down 0.47 percent after the company posted disappointing sales figures, traders said.
In terms of like for like sales for HMV UK, they actually beat what we were going for, the only thing that's disappointed on us is the Waterstone's results, said a trader.
Brambles Industries topped the FTSE 100 as continued bid speculation upped its shares by 4 percent. The world's top pallet supplier could be the subject of a takeover bid by General Electric, traders say. Brambles was strong over night in Australia and we tend to follow their lead as it's their primary listing, a trader said.
Shares in building materials company Hanson were also up 1.9 percent on continued bid talk. Hanson was also holding an analyst and investor UK site visit.
There's little of note on the corporate calendar either although miners can expect to remain in favour as gold pushes on past the $600 mark, said Matt Buckland, a trader at CMC Markets. Whilst any further merger speculation clearly has the potential to buoy the relevant sectors.
On the downside, ICAP, the world's biggest inter-dealer broker, fell 2.3 percent despite saying it is on track to meet analysts' current expectations for underlying profits this year, after an encouraging start to the financial year.
The company said on Sunday it had held talks about a possible merger with Europe's biggest exchange, the London Stock Exchange but added they had ended.
Vodafone Group also fell 0.8 percent, after giving up gains achieved earlier in the week, traders said.
Among the midcaps, support services and shipbuilding company VT Group fell 1.9 percent as the markets were left unimpressed after the company said it was on course to deliver first half results in line with its expectations and was confident about the outlook for the year. VT said its order book stood at 3.5 billion pounds.