The Footsie closed near its daily highs after a strong start on Wall Street. Utilities stock lead the rise, while financials were lower.
Utilities stocks finished higher, with United Utilities Group and Severn Trent making gains of nearly 3.7% and 2.2%, respectively.
Financials were among the worst performers of the day. Hedge fund manager Man Group was the heaviest fallers, losing 3.3%. RBS, and Schroders also finished lower.
The mining sector was given a boost by HSBC. Vedanta Resources was being helped higher after HSBC upgraded the miner to overweight, from neutral.
The brokerage was also providing a slight lift to Antofagasta's share price, after raising the target price by 100p from 5,500p to 5,600p. An overweight rating is maintained.
Anglo American was also trading higher after HSBC raised its rating on the stock from neutral to overweight.
Xstrata, however, was among the fallers after UBS cut its forecasts for the miner, saying that the first half of 2011 is "one they'd probably like to forget." The cut to forecasts has been driven by the reduced 2011 total coal production estimates following weather-related issued and the Blakefield South fire, the broker said. While a buy recommendation was kept, the target price was reduced to 1,700p, from 1,740p.
Falling metals prices were also probably providing a drag to Xstrata's share price. As of 16:40, copper futures were 1.12% lower, gold futures fell 0.15%, while silver futures dropped 2.51%.
Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca is under the weather despite hailing the test results of its jointly-developed dapagliflozin drug with Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Brewing giant SABMiller is a high riser after announcing that Domenic De Lorenzo, who is responsible for mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy and development, will join its Group Executive Committee, effective 1 July.
On the FTSE 250, Ocado Group slumped 9% despite returning to profitability in the half year ended 15 May as analysts remain concerned over the online grocer's dependence on Waitrose and the upcoming competition from the same in the lucrative online grocery market.
Premier Oil was lower after plugging and abandoning an oil well in Indonesia, which was considered to be Premier's most significant exploration wells this year. Shares slid 5% in London.
Online betting exchange Betfair Group found itself lacking a leader at the helm after David Yu, the current man in charge, told the board he wants to move on after 10 years of being the chief executive officer. Shares fells 2.2% lower.
FTSE 100 - Risers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 587.50p +3.34%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,905.00p +3.08%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,158.50p +2.98%
BG Group (BG.) 1,303.50p +2.24%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,415.00p +1.95%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) 245.60p +1.40%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,540.00p +1.38%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,283.00p +1.34%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,375.00p +1.33%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,228.00p +1.32%
Markets on the whole shrugged off disappointing data from the Chinese manufacturing sector on Tuesday, as decent corporate earnings and stimulus hopes in Europe pushed the FTSE 100 two per cent higher. [23 Apr '13]
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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