The rally on London’s blue chip index came off full throttle today as investors awaited a flood of updates on both sides of the Atlantic.
The FTSE 100 Index fell back from early session gains, which had taken it past the 6,300 mark, but still closed at a new four-and-a-half year high, up 10 points at 6,294.4.
The prospect of several key economic updates, including the start of the UK earnings season, meant many investors remained on the sidelines.
Financial stocks were among those doing well in London, with HSBC ahead 6.8p to 717.1p and Asian-focused insurer Prudential up 7p to 954.5p.
Barclays topped the top flight index with a rise of 2% or 5.2p to 305.9p, while general retailers came under pressure after broker Morgan Stanley said trading conditions will be very similar to last year.
It downgraded Argos owner Home Retail Group after a strong recent run, leaving the shares 9.6p lower at 124p today.
Shares in Hovis and Oxo owner Premier Foods were down 12% after it announced the surprise departure of chief executive Michael Clarke. Premier moved swiftly to appoint former Cable & Wireless boss Gavin Darby as its new chief executive but shares still fell 14.5p to 106p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers included Aberdeen Asset Management ahead 6.6p to 422p, Schroders 26p higher at £19.42 and Standard Life up 4.3p to 350p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Evraz down 6.3p to 293.7p, GKN off 5.1p to 241.5p, Fresnillo 35p lower at £16.63 and BG Group down 23.5p to £11.42.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Bridge Energy 4.3% higher to 101.5p.
The day’s fallers included Petrofac off 1.2% at £17.09, while Weir Group ended the trading session 0.6% lower at £20.35.