UK stocks erased losses on Thursday afternoon, finishing in positive territory for the sixth straight session, though the market gave a rather lacklustre reaction to the last-minute US deal to avert a debt default.
Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst at IG, said: "Having jumped out the way of one oncoming train, the US has merely jumped into the path of another, although this one is slightly further down the tracks."
"Widespread disapproval of this avoidance tactic" was seen earlier in the session, McCaig said, though the FTSE 100 rallied late on to finish 4.57 points higher at 6,576.16, its highest level since September 20th.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill late on Wednesday night to fund the US government through to January 15th 2014 and raise the debt ceiling until February 7th. Budget negotiations were also pushed back to December 13th.
While the deal has brought an end to the first US government shutdown in 17 years, Standard & Poor's has estimated that the closure has already cost the US economy $24bn in lost activity, which will have a 0.6% adverse impact on growth in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Chinese credit-ratings agency Dagong downgraded its rating for US sovereign debt from 'A' to 'A-', keeping a negative outlook.
Helping sentiment today were UK retail sales which rose by a better-than-expected 0.6% in September, rebounding after a 0.8% decline the month before.
FTSE 350: BskyB surges on strong revenues
Satellite television and broadband group BSkyB rose strongly after recording a strong increase in first-quarter revenues helped by an increase of 800,000 paid-for subscription products.
Brewing giant SABMiller gained after saying its first-half performance had been in line with expectations as strong volume growth at its African business offset a challenging environment in parts of Europe. Sector peer Diageo was also higher after saying that a strong performance in US spirits buoyed first-quarter growth.
Budget airline easyJet was rebounding one day after the group suffered an IT meltdown when its Europe-wide computer system crashed, causing delays and cancellations.
Travis Perkins, the builders merchant, reported "encouraging" sales momentum in the third quarter but said that conditions in retail markets were "challenging", denting the share price.
Banking stocks Barclays and HSBC were also among the fallers after Exane BNP Paribas raised concerns about the Prudential Regulation Authority's imposed capital ratios.
Shares in Polymetal raced ahead after the group reported a record-setting third quarter which saw total gold equivalent production of 413,000 oz, up 30% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Renishaw took a hit after the group revealed a decline in revenue for the three months ended September 30th. Revenues for the quarter dropped to £79.0m from £95.9m a year earlier.
FTSE 100 - Risers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 940.00p +7.06%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,167.00p +4.18%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,328.00p +3.83%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,503.00p +2.66%
ITV (ITV) 195.10p +2.63%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,115.00p +2.29%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,314.00p +1.97%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 229.30p +1.91%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,444.00p +1.88%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,650.00p +1.79%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,268.00p -2.99%
CRH (CRH) 1,539.00p -2.59%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,210.00p -2.55%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 1,005.00p -2.43%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 981.50p -1.95%
Barclays (BARC) 278.30p -1.89%
IMI (IMI) 1,501.00p -1.77%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,749.00p -1.63%
Experian (EXPN) 1,164.00p -1.61%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,388.00p -1.49%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 570.00p +8.57%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 289.40p +4.86%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 154.20p +4.40%
Man Group (EMG) 85.85p +3.56%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 156.40p +3.37%
Hiscox Ltd (HSX) 674.50p +3.13%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,585.00p +3.12%
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust (ASL) 997.50p +2.89%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 472.50p +2.49%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 105.00p +2.44%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Renishaw (RSW) 1,580.00p -5.73%
Mitie Group (MTO) 298.00p -4.76%
Alent (ALNT) 337.10p -3.69%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 310.30p -3.03%
RPC Group (RPC) 461.70p -2.62%
Rank Group (RNK) 150.00p -2.60%
Afren (AFR) 144.30p -2.43%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,868.00p -2.40%
Countrywide (CWD) 575.00p -2.38%
Genus (GNS) 1,346.00p -2.32%