Upbeat comments from JPMorgan Chase & Co and a good performance on Chinese markets overnight gave the mining sector a boost today.
The US bank upgraded its rating for the European mining sector from 'underweight' to 'overweight' on the back of falling costs and improving demand from China.
Rio Tinto was in the lead after JPMorgan named it a top pick, alongside BHP Billiton, while others such as Antofagasta, Fresnillo and Anglo American were also making strong gains.
Petrofac was another notable riser after 'buy' ratings on the stock were reiterated by Investec, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank, helping it recover from Friday's profit warning, which sent the stock plunging.
easyJet and IAG were also flying higher following downbeat performances at the end of last week.
Capita, the business process outsourcing firm, gained after saying that it made a "strong start" to 2014 with £1.1bn-worth of major new sales wins.
Meanwhile, BSkyB fell after saying that it is in talks with 21st Century Fox regarding the potential acquisition of the latter's pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. Analysts said that shareholders may be disappointed that a bid from Fox for BSkyB itself did not materialise.
Meanwhile, an announcement made today that Virgin Media has extended its relationship with Sky for a further five years pushed BT shares
firmly into the red.
A statement released by Virgin Media read: "With Sky customers needing to have a separate contract with BT to watch BT Sport, and BT customers unable to watch the majority of the Sky Sports channels, Virgin Media is THE place for what promises to be a major summer of sport."
Also in the red Barclays, which was today hit with the news several of its former bank executives are reportedly set to be questioned by the Serious Fraud Office over dealings with Qatar.
Ex-chief executives Bob Diamond and John Varley, along with other former senior members of management, will be grilled by the regulator, according to the Financial Times.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,348.50p +5.02%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 795.00p +3.38%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,735.00p +2.97%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,947.50p +2.69%
Fresnillo (FRES) 837.50p +2.57%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 908.50p +2.54%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,041.00p +2.46%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,202.00p +2.12%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 393.00p +2.08%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,635.50p +1.96%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 870.50p -2.19%
BT Group (BT.A) 375.00p -1.96%
Barclays (BARC) 255.55p -1.77%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,425.00p -1.72%
Kingfisher (KGF) 414.20p -1.43%
Tesco (TSCO) 292.95p -1.31%
Pearson (PSON) 1,123.00p -1.23%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 760.50p -1.04%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,081.00p -1.01%
ITV (ITV) 187.10p -1.01%