Commodity-related stocks paced gains in the market on Tuesday amid favourable news for the sector out of China and from key OPEC producer Iran.
Industrial Metals & Mining was top of the leaderboard, with Evraz gaining on the back of reports that on the day before Beijing had called a meeting with major steel producers to discuss progress on industry consolidation.
News that local authorities had renewed a drive to cut excess steel output also helped.
In other China-related news, analysts at SP Angel highlighted the improvement seen in SpaceKnow's China Satellite manufacturing Index for the month of March.
The gauge, which was designed to track activity at the nation's industrial sites, rose from a reading of 51.1 for February to 51.8 in March. As of 1634 GMT COMEX-traded copper futures were up by 0.61% to $2.6480 a pound.
Over in the oil patch, remarks from Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh sparked gains in crude oil
futures. Speaking from Moscow, Zanganeh reportedly said it was likely that most producing nations would extend the November 2016 agreement to reduce their combined production, although time and face-to-face meetings were needed to evaluate the situation.
As of 1611 GMT front month Brent crude futures were higher by 1.89% to $51.73 per barrel on the ICE, alongside a 1.81% move to the upside for West Texas Intermediate to $48.61 a barrel.
Aerospace & Defence was also among the top risers, after Cobham confirmed plans to raise roughly £512.4m via a rights issue as it looks to trim debt. Heading the other way were Defensives.
Somewhat ironically, that came even as strategists at Credit Suisse reiterated their benchmark view on 'Defensives', following an upgrade in February.
Telecoms and Pharma continued to be their preferred sectors, telling clients they remained cautious towards non-financial cyclicals.
"We continue to prefer to play cyclicality through financials and technology, and the cyclical regions such as Continental Europe and GEM," they added.
Top performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,303.43 +2.50%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 16,086.93 +2.12%
Mining 15,537.01 +1.85%
Aerospace and Defence 4,957.64 +1.14%
Oil & Gas Producers 7,791.27 +1.14%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Food Producers & Processors 7,984.48 -1.07%
Electricity 8,814.50 -0.60%
Fixed Line Telecommunications 3,713.85 -0.59%
Real Estate Investment Trusts 2,859.64 -0.59%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 6,317.46 -0.36%