End of Tuesday trading saw the FTSE 100 close 45.68 points higher at 7,250.05, a 0.64% climb in total. Best FTSE 100 performer was Intertek Group, up 3.3% to 4,200p while Standard Life and Barratt Developments took second and third spots, up 2.78% and 2.67%.
Standard Life was buoyed by confirmation from Aberdeen Asset Management that the proposed merger remained on schedule.
Miners, though, took flak, not helped by weaker data from China. For example, Antofagasta tumbled -3.52% to 808p while Fresnillo slumped -2.82% to 1411p. Anglo American and Randgold Resources were also down heavily (-2.49% and -2.13%).
Away from the miners, rental equipment player Ashtead Group saw a -1.78% fall while fashion player Burberry slipped -1.18%.
Pound holds steady
The pound got some surprise support from stronger UK manufacturing figures. The broader Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index hit 57.3 for April compared to 54.2 in March, a three year high. (A reading above fifty indicates manufacturing is increasing while a sub-50 reading suggests a contraction.)
"Other surges," warned Markit economist Rob Dobson, "not seen since the middle of last year have generally proved short-lived, as weak wage growth sapped consumer spending."