The FTSE is set to open on a positive note this morning, extending gains made in yesterday's session after deal activity in the US sent indices to all-time highs.
City sources predict the top tier inde will open around 18 points above yesterday's close of 6,851.75.
US markets rose strongly last night with two of the three main equity benchmarks on Wall Street finishing at their highest ever levels, as sentiment was boosted by a bout of M&A activity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.7% higher at an all-time high of 16,695 and the S&P 500
jumped 1% to a record 1,897. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq surged 1.8% to 1,897, helped by a strong performance by internet stocks.
Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital said: "The risk tone remains broadly supported by the price-action across the world while deal activity continues unabated."
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is said to be planning to raise its cash-and-shares offer for UK rival AstraZeneca again.
According to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources, Pfizer could sweeten its bid to "modestly above" the current £50-a-share level, while lifting the cash portion of the offer.
However, the company will likely wait to increase its bid until after government hearings in the UK.
Meanwhile, over in China figures were this morning released that showed industrial-output, investment and retail-sales growth all slowed unexpectedly.
In this morning's company news, easyJet said it narrowed its half-year loss as revenue rose on the back of an increase in passenger numbers and lower-than-expected costs. The European airline posted a loss before tax of £53m, down 13.6% on the prior year. Revenue grew 6.3% to £1.7bn.
Manufacturing conglomerate Melrose said trading in the first quarter was in line with expectations but gave a cautious outlook, saying that the significant and consistent revenue growth remains 'hard to achieve'. "The macro environment still makes significant and consistent revenue growth hard to achieve but the improvement and investment opportunities continuing to arise in the Melrose businesses are encouraging."
Against a strong comparative half-year, interim losses worsened slightly at TUI Travel as revenues softened. However, average selling prices improved, with Germany catching up with the UK and a turnaround in France making progress.
Transport group National Express reported positive underlying trading since the start of the year, and is on track to deliver its earnings expectations for the year. Group revenue was up 2% at constant currency, with strong growth seen across all UK divisions, which it said had been supported by rising passenger demand. However, it did experiences challenges in both North America and Spain.