Chancellor George Osborne failed to spook investors today despite telling austerity-weary Britons to brace themselves for more spending cuts.
The FTSE 100 was up 23 points at 5,892.1 as early session gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the US amid hopes for more economic stimulus measures in China helped boost confidence in London.
In London, Tesco was one of the session’s biggest risers as investors breathed a sigh of relief after chief executive Philip Clarke signalled an end to the grocer’s disastrous US venture.
With a sale of the business now on the cards, shares jumped 10.8p to 337.5p, a rise of 3%.
Miners propped up the top flight as worries receded over whether US political leaders will reach a budget deal before the end of the year.
Kazakhmys topped the risers board, up 4% or 26.5p to 740.5p, while Anglo American was 43p higher at £17.80 and Rio Tinto added 95.5p to £32.26.
In other corporate news, transport group Stagecoach was 6% higher after reporting a 39% rise in half-year profits to £123.7million. Shares were up 17.1p to 308.7p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers included Vedanta Resources ahead 28p at £10.94.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Sage Group down 10.8p at 300.4p, Tullow Oil off 38p at £12.54, Severn Trent down 41p at £15.72 and Carnival off 35p at £24.10.
Elaine McLachlan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Inverness, noted that risers included Havelock Europa, up 7.1% to 12.8p, and EnQuest up 3.5% at 117.1p.
Fallers included Parkmead Group, off 1.8% at 13.6p, and Faroe Petroleum, down 1.3% at 136.6p, while Aberdeen Asset Management fell 1.1% to 334.3p.