Banking giant Barclays was the high riser of the day after regulators eased rules on cash buffers, giving lenders more time and greater flexibility to comply with Basel III liquid coverage ratio requirements.
Sector peers Lloyds and HSBC were also on the up. "Less strict liquidity rules should reduce pressure on banks, thus helping provide a further boost to confidence and the real economic growth, all else being equal," explained analysts at Barclays Research.
British American Tobacco was lighting up after Deutsche Bank upgraded the shares from 'hold' to 'buy', saying that the current price is a "solid entry point to a high-quality stock". Imperial Tobacco, which remains the broker's top pick across European Tobacco names, was also higher.
ITV was a big riser following an upgrade from Liberum Capital, which improved its earnings forecast for the year and increased its share price target by 10p to 155p.
Life insurance consolidation vehicle Resolution was up having sold its stake in AmLife and AmFamily Takaful to its joint venture partner AmBank Group of Malaysia. The company said it had disposed of its 30% interest in the insurance companies for 245m Malaysian Ringgits.
Meanwhile, National Grid led the fallers after Deutsche Bank reiterated its sell recommendation on the stock - although it did raise its target price by 20p to 600p.
Centrica was lower after Deutsche Bank reiterated its "hold" rating on the stock.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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