The FTSE ended Thursday's session up 4.39 points following a busy day for investors around the globe, with rate decisions unveiled by both the Bank of England (BoE) and European Central Bank (ECB)The BoE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep its main policy rate and the size of its asset purchase facility (APF) unchanged at 0.5% and £375bn, respectively, as had been widely expected.
"With no statement of any consequence released, we cannot judge how the Committee's views are evolving," Dominic Bryant at BNP Paribas said.
"However, we continue to see a good chance of a rate hike at the November's meeting."
Things were looking rather more exciting across the Channel, with ECB President Mario Draghi revealing that the Governing Council's decision to cut rates was not unanimous.
The ECB, under pressure to address weak inflation and a stagnant recovery, cut its main refinancing rate by 10 basis points to 0.05% and the deposit facility by another 10 basis points, taking it to -0.20%.
Joshua Mahony, a research analyst at Alpari, said: "Mario Draghi has hit the markets with yet another unexpected change in monetary policy today, as the ECB cut interest rates by 10 basis points across the board. That puts the main refinancing rate at 0.05%, with the already negative deposit rate was brought even lower to -0.2%.
"However, this was not it all as the ECB also chose to embark upon the purchase of asset backed securities to non-financial corporations along with covered bonds. For many, this is seen as a precursor to a potential quantitative easing (QE) down the line and provides an extensive increase to the ECB balance sheet."
The euro tumbled 1.57% to $1.2943 following the announcement.
ISM service sector gauge hits nine-year high
Across the Pond, it was revealed that the US trade deficit declined to $40.5bn in July, 0.6% lower than the downwardly-revised $40.8bn seen in June. Analysts had expected the trade gap to widen to $42.4bn.
Jobless claims rose 4,000 in the week to 30 August to reach 302,000, more or less in line with the 300,000 forecast.
The US private sector added 204,000 payrolls in August, down from 218,000 the month before and below expectations for a 220,000 increase. This meant that hiring in the private sector grew at its slowest pace in five months.
Standard Life soars as BP dives on judge ruling
Standard Life surged after saying that it has agreed to sell its Canadian operations for C$4bn (£2.2bn) to Manulife Financial and would return £1.75bn of this to shareholders. The two companies also made a collaboration agreement in principle for Manulife to distribute Standard Life Investments' products via the Canadian company's network in Canada, the US and Asia.
Budget airline Easyjet was higher after seeing annual traffic pick up slightly in August, with passenger numbers up 8.4% on the year before, compared with the 7.7% increase registered in July.
Meanwhile, BP has been found negligent in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. US District Judge Carl Barbier judge said the energy company is to blame for the biggest offshore oil spill in US history, according to Bloomberg.
Supermarket stocks were also under pressure on Thursday, continuing their recent choppy trade amid ongoing concerns about heightened competition, declining profits, dividend sustainability and a critical government into the industry. The Elliott Report, an inquiry into the industry launched as a result of the horse-meat scandal, has warned that aggressive supermarket buying practices have worsened and that the current price wars exposes the UK to further food crime.
On the second tier, a decline in like-for-like sales at fashion retailer Supergroup was not as bad as feared in the first quarter, helping the stock to jump. The company also reassured the market by highlighting improving trends over the first few weeks of the second quarter.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Standard Life (SL.) 417.20p +8.05%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,460.00p +3.05%
Carnival (CCL) 2,358.00p +2.97%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,469.00p +2.66%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,700.00p +2.62%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,345.00p +2.05%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,928.00p +1.74%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 446.10p +1.62%
Shire Plc (SHP) 5,015.00p +1.54%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,282.00p +1.42%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BP (BP.) 455.00p -5.94%
Fresnillo (FRES) 909.50p -2.41%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,049.00p -2.24%
Sage Group (SGE) 395.70p -1.44%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,661.00p -1.37%
Tesco (TSCO) 229.45p -1.35%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,115.00p -1.24%
Capita (CPI) 1,217.00p -1.22%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 725.00p -0.89%
Meggitt (MGGT) 477.80p -0.87%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Supergroup (SGP) 1,191.00p +13.86%
Evraz (EVR) 119.90p +4.26%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 313.80p +4.25%
Serco Group (SRP) 325.30p +4.00%
DCC (DCC) 3,683.00p +3.46%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 134.60p +3.46%
Betfair Group (BET) 1,130.00p +3.20%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,345.00p +3.17%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 375.00p +3.02%
ITE Group (ITE) 208.80p +2.86%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 164.40p -4.97%
Berendsen (BRSN) 1,045.00p -2.79%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,405.00p -2.77%
AO World (AO.) 219.70p -2.36%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 590.00p -1.99%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,139.00p -1.81%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 267.20p -1.80%
BTG (BTG) 647.00p -1.75%
Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) 303.00p -1.75%
Bellway (BWY) 1,588.00p -1.73%