London leads on Thursday markets
The London markets were up for the third day in a row on Thursday under the influence of rumors that Shell might acquire Woodside, an Australian oil and gas company.
Shell already owns 34 percent of Woodside, so a deal was considered possible. Another factor was the decision by the Bank of England to leave interest rates at their present level.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent and the FTSE 250- was up 0.3 percent.
In Europe, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.3 percent, mostly on the strength of the energy sector.
In Tokyo, markets were mixed, with the Nikkei index down 0.1 percent, while the Topix index as up 0.1 percent.
Consumer electronics did well, but retailers were generally down amid investor concerns over restructuring.
In the U.S. at midday, meanwhile, The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 were both up 0.4 percent, and the Nasdaq was up 0.5 percent, all on light trading.
These gains seemed to be despite crude oil prices that were up again and bad news in the pharmaceuticals sector over more announced risks to patients from arthritis drugs.