Tullow Oil was the top riser on speculation that it could be a takeover target. The bid speculation gave the oil stock a lift after rumours did the rounds yesterday that Norwegian group Statoil is considering an offer for the firm. Tullow also had a strong day yesterday after an upgrade from HSBC to 'buy'.
House builder Persimmon was a high riser after Goldman Sachs kept a 'buy' rating, with analysts saying they were "increasing our estimates and price target for Persimmon following its strong fiscal year trading update [on Wednesday]".
Betting firm William Hill climbed after Credit Suisse reiterated its outperform rating on the stock.
Mining giant Glencore Xstrata was lifted by comments from Barclays. Despite the bank keeping its negative stance on the wider sector after predicting another difficult year in 2014, it upgraded its rating for Glencore Xstrata to 'overweight', saying that it was among its top picks in the industry.
Meanwhile, Lloyds shares
declined as investors engaged in a round of profit taking following a week of strong gains. Banks in general were mixed following an announcement from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this morning saying that the UK's biggest banks have accelerated the pace of compensation to small firms that were mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
Britain's four largest banks, which in addition to Lloyds include Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC, paid £158.6m by the end of December, compared to £81.2m at the end of the previous month. As such, they have paid out just 5% of the £3bn set aside to compensate the small firms who were victims of the mis-selling.
Chip designer ARM Holdings, which got hit by a Deutsche Bank downgrade yesterday, was still under selling pressure today after analysts at Goldman Sachs decided to take the company off their 'conviction buy' list.
Supermarket chain Tesco was still under the weather following its unimpressive trading update after it downgraded by Beaufort Securities this morning to 'sell'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 904.00p +6.98%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,331.00p +4.47%
William Hill (WMH) 382.90p +3.18%
Royal Mail (RMG) 578.50p +3.12%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,464.00p +3.03%
Old Mutual (OML) 194.60p +2.75%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 811.00p +2.59%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 317.50p +2.54%
IMI (IMI) 1,566.00p +2.49%
Carnival (CCL) 2,532.00p +2.47%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 83.66p -1.88%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 980.00p -1.75%
Tesco (TSCO) 321.40p -0.91%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 349.50p -0.54%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 358.40p -0.50%
CRH (CRH) 1,617.00p -0.49%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 426.60p -0.47%
Barclays (BARC) 283.25p -0.40%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,104.00p -0.24%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,245.00p -0.24%