Royal Mail shares
were in the top spot in today's session, as investors await to hear the government's decision on whether to sell the remaining 30 per cent stake in the group now that the lock-up period has expired. According to the BBC, senior Tories are firmly in favour of a sale.
Defensive stocks United Utilities, National Grid, SSE and Severn Trent were all higher as the wider index fell on the back of disappointing Chinese, UK and German data.
Temporary power generator Aggreko was also on the up after it reported an "encouraging" start to the year with underlying revenues up 5% in the first three months. Prime Wealth labelled the stock a 'buy', saying it sees Aggreko as an "early stage if slightly speculative recovery play ahead of what will be a high profile year for the group".
Engineer GKN gained despite reporting mixed markets in the first quarter, with a thrusting commercial aerospace market making up for a military aerospace sector stuck in reverse gear.
Miner Rio Tinto fell despite saying it started the new financial year strongly with record first-quarter iron ore production and shipments, though production eased when compared with the end of last year. Sector peers Fresnillo, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Randgold Resources.
Security solutions group G4S was trading in the red after the stock was downgraded from 'hold' to 'sell' by Deutsche Bank. G4S has also come under fire from shareholders after the security company announced a major pay rise for its new Chief Executive amid a series of scandals.
Drinks giant SABMiller underwhelmed by saying that full-year beer sales met expectations despite challenging conditions in its European markets. Fourth-quarter net producer revenue at the world's second biggest brewer grew by 2% and by 3% for the full-year.
Sector peer Diageo inched lower after offering £1.1bn to take a majority stake in Indian alcoholic beverages group United Spirits (USL). The deal, which will lift its interest from 28.78% to 54.78%, values the stake at 38 times USL's operating profits.
Next was also in the red after Espirito Santo downgraded it to 'sell', with a target price of 5,500p.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Mail (RMG) 510.00p +3.66%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 769.50p +2.12%
National Grid (NG.) 829.50p +1.97%
SSE (SSE) 1,496.00p +1.84%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 285.60p +1.60%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,534.00p +1.59%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 376.60p +1.37%
GKN (GKN) 378.60p +1.23%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,891.00p +1.20%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,779.00p +1.14%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,315.50p -2.71%
Fresnillo (FRES) 908.00p -2.63%
G4S (GFS) 241.60p -2.58%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,505.00p -2.49%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,741.00p -2.15%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,900.50p -1.94%
Mondi (MNDI) 971.00p -1.92%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 71.27p -1.80%
Aviva (AV.) 495.90p -1.80%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,613.00p -1.65%