FTSE 100 is higher on Friday afternoon thanks to a string of mining behemoths led by Rio Tinto congregating atop the risers' list, albeit offset by a motley group of fallers led by consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser.
London's top tier index closed 0.40% higher to 7,258.75 points.
At about 16:50 GMT, shares
in Rio Tinto were surging ahead after it confirmed the appointment of three oil- and energy-sector heavyweights to the boards of London-quoted Rio Tinto Plc and Australia-listed Rio Tinto Ltd.
The former CEOs of Sasol Ltd and Centrica Plc, respectively David Constable and Sam Laidlaw, would be appointed with immediate effect as independent non-executive directors.
Royal Dutch Shell's CFO, Simon Henry, would join the board, also as a non-executive independent director, with effect from 1 July. Two non-exec directors were leaving.
Rio Tinto also benefitted alongside the wider blue-chip mining sector -- Antofagasta, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton all firmly ahead -- aided by well received macro data.
The UK trade deficit narrowed to £8.6bn in the fourth quarter, from £14.1bn previously and helped by an increase in exports to countries outside the European Union, the ONS said.
Separately, ONS also said UK industrial production rose 1.1% in December, helped by a hike in manufacturing. Economists expected a 0.2% rise. Manufacturing output climbed 2.1% in December, ahead of forecasts for a rise of 0.5%.
Construction output edged up 1.8% month-on-month in December, compared to estimates for a 1% rise, and grew 0.6% year-on-year, compared to estimates for a 0.5% fall.
Of blue chips retreating, Nurofen and Durex maker Reckitt Benckiser topped the bill on saying it would buy US baby milk company Mead Johnson for up to $17.9bn, including net debt.
Reckitt also said its revenue and earnings grew in 2016 despite challenging markets and products.
Other sectors notably lower included pharmaceuticals behind Smith & Nephew and Hikma Pharmaceuticals.
Shares in BT Group fell as reports confirmed the resignation of its continental Europe chief, Corrado Sciolla, amid the fallout of an accounting scandal at its Italian business.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,572.50p 5.63%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 866.00p 4.65%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,352.50p 4.40%
Glencore (GLEN) 320.75p 2.74%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,370.00p 2.39%
Capita (CPI) 525.00p 2.34%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 732.50p 2.02%
BAE Systems (BA.) 612.00p 2.00%
Old Mutual (OML) 211.20p 1.78%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,556.00p 1.77%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 7,025.00p -2.96%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 228.90p -1.80%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 240.30p -1.52%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,186.00p -1.00%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,937.00p -0.92%
3i Group (III) 714.50p -0.83%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 264.60p -0.79%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 65.64p -0.76%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 272.00p -0.73%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 197.70p -0.70%