A decent set of manufacturing figures from China helped drive the mining sector higher as investors turned bullish on the outlook for demand.
The National Bureau of Statistics said that the official Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) edged higher from 50.8 in May to 51.0 last month, as expected by analysts. This was its fourth straight monthly improvement and the highest reading since December 2013.
Nikolaus Keis at Unicredit highlighted the broad-based nature of the improvement reflected by the details of the Chinese report and the improved business sentiment as denoted by the rising new orders-to-inventory ratio.
Fresnillo, Anglo American, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Randgold Resources were all in the top 10 this afternoon.
Sports Direct came off recent declines, which resulted from investors' negative reaction to the group's recently announced bonus scheme that controversially includes founder Mike Ashley.
Drinks group Diageo was continuing to rise as speculation continued about a potential merger with brewer SABMiller, which could create a beverages giant worth over £100bn.
Meanwhile, supermarket group Wm Morrison, which has a long-term partnership with Ocado, fell in sympathy today, along with rivals J Sainsbury and Tesco, which both have significant online offerings.
As an aside, RBS notes that they have been buying protection against the impact of a more hawkish Fed on the bonds of UK retailers.
easyJet continued to nosedive after Bank of America yesterday cut its price target and lowered its outlook for the airline, blaming its decision on higher fuel costs and profit warnings amongst other stocks in the sector.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 905.50p +3.84%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,480.50p +3.53%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,208.50p +3.22%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,935.00p +2.41%
Glencore (GLEN) 333.00p +2.29%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 722.50p +2.26%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,979.00p +2.18%
CRH (CRH) 1,531.00p +2.00%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,670.00p +1.95%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,056.00p +1.93%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 179.90p -1.91%
Royal Mail (RMG) 490.60p -1.68%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,348.00p -1.25%
TUI Travel (TT.) 393.60p -1.11%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 449.40p -0.99%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,369.00p -0.91%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 325.40p -0.91%
Tesco (TSCO) 281.85p -0.83%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 313.00p -0.79%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,026.00p -0.75%