After a strong day's trading at around 90 points above the opening bell, the FTSE eased somewhat lower in late trading to close at 6,625.39, 66.57 points (1.01 per cent) above yesterday's finish.
The surge came after the Federal Reserve surprised market participants with its decision to maintain its bond-buying strategy on the back of softer growth.
Acting as a modest counter-balance, data showed that UK retail sales growth suffered a slowdown in August following a particularly strong July.
Worth noting nevertheless, economists at UBS raised their forecasts for GDP growth in the UK to 1.5% for 2013 (from 1.1%) and to 2.3% in 2014 (from 1.8%) previously.
Back across the Atlantic, initial weekly US unemployment claims rose by 17,000 to 309,000 in the week ended on September 7th (Consensus: 330,000).
The Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia's monthly manufacturing index improved to 22.3 points from 9.3 in August [Consensus: 10.3].
Federal Reserve holds bond-buying at $85bn a month
Following its two-day policy meeting, the Fed announced it had decided to stick with its approach of buying $85bn of debt a month, but said it could still potentially scale back this sum by the end of the year.
In its report, the Fed said that while household spending and business fixed investment has advanced, and the housing sector has been strengthening, mortgage rates have risen further and fiscal policy is "restraining economic growth".
As such, and as a part of its goal "to foster maximum employment and price stability", it has "decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases".
UK manufacturing recovery continued in September, CBI says
The recovery in the UK's manufacturing sector continued in September, according to the results of the Confederation of British Industry's [CBI] latest industrial trends survey.
At +9.0 the totals orders index is now at its highest since the start of the financial crisis, versus a reading of 0.0 for the month before and an expected print of +2.0.
Commenting on the survey Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, pointed out the fact that: "Firms are more upbeat about growth prospects in the coming quarter than at any time since 1995."
UK August retail sales suffer in comparison to strong July
UK retail sales growth suffered a slowdown in August after July proved a particularly strong month.
Customers reined in their spending, particularly on food items, causing volumes to drop 0.9% month-on-month, falling short of expectations for a 0.4% rise. Food sales alone declined 2.7% month-on-month. Annually, the rate of growth slowed to 2.1%, versus forecasts for a gain of 3.3%.
FTSE 100: Miners track metal prices higher
Mining stocks were the biggest risers on Thursday as the price of precious metals jumped. Randgold Resources, Fresnillo, Anglo American and Antofagasta were among the miners who gained on an increase in commodity values.
Aberdeen Asset Management was rebounding today after yesterday suffering a target price cut from Morgan Stanley.
Regulatory price increases have allowed water and sewage group United Utilities to raise revenues and profits in the first half of the year, prompting the stock to rise. The company said it anticipated underlying operating profits would be moderately higher than the first half of last year in the six months to the end of September due to tight control of costs.
Vodafone was one of just small handful of fallers, which commentators were attributing to recent director sales (some post exercise).
Supermarket chain Tesco was down after Nomura cut its rating from 'buy' to 'neutral' and reduced its target price to 400p from 430p.
FTSE 250: African Barrick Gold rises on appointment of CFO
African Barrick Gold led the risers on the news it has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Wray, who originally joined the company as Head of Corporate Development and Investor Relations in 2010. He will retain his existing responsibilities in addition to those of his new role. Jaco Maritz, who assumed the role of Acting Chief Financial Officer earlier this year, will revert to his original position of Vice President of Finance.
On the top tier, mining stocks were the biggest risers as precious metal prices jumped. Making the strongest gains were Polymetal, Lonmin, and Hochschild.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,841.00p +8.11%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 390.80p +6.40%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,069.00p +6.05%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,412.00p +4.67%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,635.00p +3.65%
Schroders (SDR) 2,608.00p +3.57%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,303.50p +3.56%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,080.00p +3.55%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,588.00p +3.31%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,564.00p +3.30%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,852.00p -1.45%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,294.00p -1.22%
G4S (GFS) 250.00p -0.99%
Rexam (REX) 491.60p -0.79%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 209.75p -0.76%
William Hill (WMH) 419.20p -0.66%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,576.00p -0.57%
Next (NXT) 5,115.00p -0.49%
BT Group (BT.A) 341.30p -0.44%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,406.00p -0.42%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 156.70p +15.39%
Polymetal International (POLY) 705.50p +7.87%
Lonmin (LMI) 348.30p +5.45%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 402.20p +5.32%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 420.00p +4.14%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 382.50p +3.60%
JPMorgan Indian Inv Trust (JII) 328.30p +3.56%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 212.80p +3.10%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 335.00p +2.92%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd. (GSS) 540.00p +2.76%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rank Group (RNK) 159.00p -3.87%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 774.00p -3.85%
Computacenter (CCC) 524.50p -3.76%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,113.00p -3.64%
BBA Aviation (BBA) 309.80p -3.19%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,836.00p -3.08%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,100.00p -3.05%
National Express Group (NEX) 257.20p -3.02%
Xaar (XAR) 772.00p -2.77%
Beazley (BEZ) 214.90p -2.50%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 0.44p +4.76%
Skyepharma (SKP) 84.88p +4.14%
Vislink (VLK) 48.50p +3.74%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 16.25p +3.17%
Promethean World (PRW) 17.50p +2.19%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 138.50p +1.28%
Filtronic (FTC) 63.75p +0.79%
Ricardo (RCDO) 544.50p +0.65%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 177.34 +0.60%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.60p +0.58%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
RM (RM.) 108.00p -5.47%
CML Microsystems (CML) 530.00p -2.03%
Puricore (PURI) 40.00p -1.23%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 137.50p -0.90%
Innovation Group (TIG) 29.75p -0.83%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 178.75p -0.83%
NCC Group (NCC) 160.00p -0.78%
Sepura (SEPU) 151.00p -0.49%
Microgen (MCGN) 127.00p -0.49%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.38p -0.45%