With leading shares lifted by a mixture of good Chinese data and bid talk, one of the biggest risers is Arm following an update from US rival Intel
Ahead of its results next week, the chip designer has added 21.5p to 855p. There had been concerns that Intel would be gaining market share in Arm's key area of mobile technology, while Arm's attempts to enter the server market could prove problematic. But Intel's results painted a more favourable picture to Arm. FinnCap analyst Lorne Daniel moved from hold to buy with a £10 target, saying:
[Arm's] share price is taking a traditional mid-summer dip, helped on its way by fears of a revival in the fortunes of rival Intel. However, Intel's second quarter results show that while its PC market has had a bounce, its mobile unit continues to haemorrhage cash and Intel's focus on gaining traction in tablets leaves the higher volume smartphone market still safely in the hands of its Cambridge-based rival. Earnings look relatively secure and a 35 times forward PE is cheap for Arm.
Elsewhere Meggitt is the biggest riser in the FTSE 100, adding 46.9p to 537p after a report that US group United Technologies could be planning a 635p cash bid for the engineer.
Meanwhile easyJet has added 39p to £13.16 as Goldman Sachs repeated its conviction buy rating, although the bank did cut its target price from £21.05 to £20.10.
Mining shares were supported by the latest Chinese data, which showed a 7.5% annual rate of GDP growth compared to expectations of 7.4%. Rio Tinto has risen 53p to 3297.5p while BHP Billiton is 16p better at £20.08.
Overall the FTSE 100 is currently 47.24 points higher at 6757.69, as the UK unemployment rate fell to an expected 6.5% in the three months to May.
Among the fallers, Royal Mail is down 6.1p at 482.6p after being caught up in a French competition investigation which could lead to a fine.
Imperial Tobacco - which agreed a deal to buy $7.1bn worth of assets from the soon-to-be-merged Reynolds and Lorillard - has lost 43p to £25.95 as its shares went ex-dividend.