More evidence that the economic recovery is gathering pace helped the London market take its rally into a second day.
The FTSE 100 gained 45.23 points at 6,492.10, while the more domestically focused FTSE 250 added 99.51 at 14,953.1.
Josefine Rytooja, senior sales trader at CMC Markets, said: “UK market sentiment was given a boost in light of the upward revision to second quarter GDP from 0.6 per cent to 0.7 per cent, putting us on a par for growth with the German economy.”
Signs that domestic consumers may be gaining confidence helped the retailers, with Middle England stalwart Marks & Spencer advancing 12.3p or 2.7 per cent at 471.6p. The supermarkets were also on the march, with Sainsbury up 9.9p at 398.2 and Morrisons climbing 6.6p to 292.8p.
Croda International topped the blue chip leaderboard as it was upgraded to a “buy” recommendation by broker Deutsche Bank. The shares added 4.3 per cent at 2,677p, giving them some further headroom compared to Deutsche’s target of 2,850p.
Glasgow-based temporary power giant Aggreko was the biggest faller, down almost 3 per cent at 1,607p the day after a target price cut by RBC. The broker said it needed to see evidence of pipeline conversion in the firm’s power projects arm to provide confidence in short-term forecasts.
In the second tier, Carpetright was under pressure after confirming it was one of six firms contacted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as part of an investigation into misleading sale prices. The group’s shares fell 5.5p to 665p.
Haulier Stobart Group was also in the red despite saying it had managed to overcome trading challenges after Britain’s erratic weather triggered swings in demand from its retail customers. The firm said it made solid progress, but shares fell nearly 4 per cent, or 4.5p, to 112p.
Shares in Rockhopper lost further ground as investors digest the previous day’s full year results. The oil exploration firm shed almost 10 per cent on Thursday after reporting full year losses because of a tax bill from the Falklands. The firm issued a new statement showing the Falkland Islands Government is working to reach a “mutually acceptable outcome”, but shares dropped a further 2p to 118p.