European markets shook off worries over the inconclusive Italian election result today with the help of better news on the US economy.
The FTSE 100 Index recouped a large chunk of the losses seen during the previous session to close 55.4 points higher at 6,325.9.
While traders warned that fears of more eurozone turmoil due to the latest Italian political crisis had not gone away, there was encouragement in better-than-expected pending new home sales data in the US.
In a busy session for corporate results, Glasgow-based pumps and valves group Weir Group topped the FTSE 100 Index risers board after it reported a rise in profits for 2012. Shares rose 7% or 158p to £23.22.
British Gas owner Centrica declined 1.3p to 347.8p after a 14% rise in full-year operating profits to £2.7billion met City expectations.
Outside the top flight, Frankie & Benny’s chain Restaurant Group lifted 24.6p to 413.6p after it announced plans for as many as 35 new outlets this year, having opened 28 new sites last year.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers included Melrose Industries ahead 9.9p at 260p, Prudential up 30.5p at 973p and Fresnillo ahead 35p at £15.50.
The biggest fallers were Petrofac down 100p at £14.97, Intu Properties off 9p at 333.9p, Eurasian Natural Resources down 9.2p at 347p and Croda International off 29p at £25.55.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Aggreko added 1.7% to £16.78, Premier Oil rose 1.67% to 384p and BG Group closed the day with a rise of 1.4% at 1,163.5p.
Among the day’s fallers Xcite Energy closed 0.7% lower at 102.125p, Cairn Energy weakened 0.4% to 273.25p and Faroe Petroleum slipped 0.37% to 136p.