The FTSE 100 was 0.5 per cent higher in mid-morning, at 6,136.6 points, as insurers led the index higher - despite the UK taking a battering from Storm Katie over the weekend.
Prudential led the risers, up 2.3 per cent at 1,305p - while RSA Insurance rose 1.9 per cent to 476p, and Standard Life was up 1.6 per cent at 354.2p.
The news came after stocks in Asia finished down, hit by strength in regional currencies: the dollar took a hit overnight as investors nervously awaited clues over future monetary policy decisions from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen in a speech later today UK time.
Analysts, though, were less than hopeful.
"[The speech] may, but will probably not, provide some clarity," said Brenda Kelly, head of analysts at London Capital Group.
However, she added: "We can still expect two-sided volatility as the newswires light up."