LONDON (AP) _ Stock prices were sharply higher Monday, buoyed by what dealers said was optimism about the market's longer-term prospects.

Dealers said volume levels were healthy, with good two-way trading in selected stocks. They noted, however, that activity was slower in other stocks, as bombings in two London rail stations delayed the arrival of many traders.

At midday, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100-stock index was up 28.4 points, or 1.2 percent, at 2,325.3.

Volume came to 294.5 million shares at midday.