London’s FTSE 100 Index made further progress today amid renewed hopes that Britain would narrowly escape a triple dip recession.
With the UK forecasted to eke out growth of 0.1% in the first quarter after encouraging figures from retailers and manufacturers, the FTSE 100 closed 36.3 points higher at 6,313.2.
Among stocks, miners and banks dominated the blue-chip risers board. Barclays added 8.8p to 286p as it bounced back from three month lows, while Royal Bank of Scotland rose 7.8p to 273.9p and Lloyds Banking Group also made gains, adding 0.9p to 47.2p.
In corporate news, shares in transport operator FirstGroup were 5.8p higher at 206.7p after it reported further signs of revenues improvement in its bus division.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Vedanta Resources up 56p to £11.16, Eurasian Natural Resources ahead 12.7p to 260p, Rio Tinto up 143.5p to £31.35 and Glencore International up 15.9p to 358.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Diageo down 51.5p to 1,965.5p, Whitbread off 47p to £23.92, Smith & Nephew 12.5p lower at 739.5p and Tate & Lyle down 14p to 838.5p.
Carrie Keenan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Cairn Energy up 3.37% at 291.85p, while A.G. Barr gained 2.98% at 551.75p.
Among the fallers were Faroe Petroleum, which weakened a further 2.34% at 125.75p, and Aberdeen Asset Management lost 1.59% at 402p.