Trading volumes were expected to be thinner than usual, as hurricane Sandy shut Wall Street for a second consecutive day.
Oil behemoth BP, which this morning announced it was hiking its dividend by 12.5 per cent on the back of stronger-than-expected profits, was the standout blue chip gainer, adding 3.74 per cent in early deals.
Credit card insurer CPP Group was up 13.33 per cent this morning, while Premier Foods rose 8.37 per cent as it announced it is to sell its Branston business to a Japanese company.
Publisher Trinity Mirror increased 6.79 per cent, as it confirmed it is in talks to take a minority interest in a new venture formed by combining the assets of Illiffe News & Media and Northcliffe.
Elsewhere on the FTSE All-Share, New World Resources and Petra Diamonds rose 2.93 and 2.87 per cent respectively.
Bringing up the rear was Egypt-based gold miner Centamin, which lost almost 10 per cent in early trading.
Technology group Emblaze dropped more than two per cent, while Torotrak, which makes transmission systems, fell 2.44 per cent.
Electricals company Darty sank 1.82 per cent on the news that it had appointed two new independent non-executive directors.
UK banks had a mixed morning. HSBC dropped 0.39 per cent in early deals and RBS dropped 0.11 per cent. Barclays added 1.19 per cent while Lloyds Banking Group was flat.
In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.98 per cent down.