FTSE ends the session modestly higher, lacking any real spark
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was up 24.86 points at 5,965.58 with the FTSE250 ahead 93.64 points at 11,792.92 and the FTSE Smallcaps 18.32 points lower at 3,148.93.
US stocks were little changed in late morning trade as a disappointing consumer confidence reading hit sentiment.
Heading into the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5 points at 13,258, the S&P500 rose 2 points at 1,405 and the Nasdaq Composite ticked up 3 points at 3,059.
The markets in London had a quiet but positive session, with no corporate news to provide focus. Mixed data from the US did nothing to improve sentiment.
Royal Bank of Scotland was a stand-out winner, up 1.67p at 28.14p, helped by an upgrade from neutral to buy at UBS, with a new target price of 32.5p. Elsewhere, Barclays added 4.8p at 254p and Lloyds gained 1.05p at 37.5p.
Fund managers were back in favour, with Hargreaves Lansdown climbing 18.4p at 496.3p, Ashmore ahead 4.3p at 379.2p and Schroders 6p better at 1,615p.
Insurers were also popular, with Aviva gaining 4.3p at 379.2p and Prudential 11.5p higher at 791.5p.
The mining fraternity was largely positive, with Anglo American the best of the bunch, up 36.5p at 2,618p. Rio Tinto rose 31p at 3,578.5p and BHP Billiton added 11p at 2,035p.
Randgold Resources continued to suffer as the price of gold languished around the $1,650 an ounce mark, down 160p at 6,490p, while Polymetal took the wooden spoon, down 33.5p at 961.5p.
Africa-focused explorer Tullow Oil rose 57p at 1,528p, still enjoying positive reaction to its results earlier this week and today announcing a new discovery offshore Ghana.
Shire staged a recovery, up 19p at 2,177p, when JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded the pharmaceutical group from neutral to overweight and raised its target for the stock from 2,235p to 2,600p.
Retailers put in a strong showing. Tesco rallied 6.75p at 328.5p and fashion house Next continued to climb, up a further 34p at 2,935p.
Chip designer ARM Holdings edged up 3.5p at 576.5p on the back of more success for the Apple iPad.
On the downside, auto engineering specialist GKN slipped 2.4p at 217.2p, while security firm G4S eased 0.8p at 276.3p after a downgrade to sell at Goldman Sachs.
Other major casualties included household goods maker Unilever, down 14p at 2,085p, sugar refiner Tate & Lyle, off 5p at 710p, and global brewer SABMiller, 16.5p lower at 2,608p.
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com