The FTSE 100 hit a one-week high on Tuesday, led by the oil and energy sector after strong results from BP
By 11.50 a.m., the FTSE 100 was up 48.80 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,830.59, having shed 0.2 percent on Monday.
The heavyweight integrated oil and gas sector added 23.3 points to the FTSE, with BP alone contributing 16 points after hiking its dividend as it delivered a better-than-expected third quarter result.
"It has been an immensely complicated time for BP and this update reflects just how much progress has been made," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
BP led the FTSE 100 in gains, adding 4.8 percent and trading 70 percent of its 90-day average volume by 1145 GMT.
However, the index average volume was a mere 18.4 percent of the 90-day average, with activity suppressed following the closure of Wall Street as Sandy - one of the biggest storms on record - battered the U.S. east coast.
"On thin trade volumes, expect the FTSE 100 to slosh around whilst the U.S. remains closed and investors assess the full impact of Sandy," said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at Interactive Investor.
The storm, which was downgraded from hurricane status, was seen as benefiting some stocks. Emergency power provider Aggreko
"Storm-related revenues are not an unusual occurrence for Aggreko and indeed the company budgets circa $8-10 million of sales from such unpredictable natural events," analysts at Seymour Pierce said in a note.
"However, we think the events currently unfolding in the U.S. could provide positive upside of at least circa 2 percent to pre-tax FY12 forecasts."
Insurers, which are highly exposed to natural disasters, recovered after falling sharply on Monday on hurricane cost worries. Oriel Securities called the sell-off slightly overdone, though understandable in the light of a strong performance year-to-date.
"At first glance the expected insured losses from ... Sandy look relative containable," analysts at Oriel Securities said.
On the downside, Standard Chartered
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Stephen Nisbet)