Traders haven't been getting much clarity out of the US recently, but agreement to ease spending cuts pushed defence and aerospace stocks to new heights.
US lawmakers agreed to scale back planned automatic spending cuts by about $63bn (£38bn) over two years and the sector soared. Liberum Capital's analysts said the "US progress" had come "earlier than expected" and defence specialists BAE Systems added 10.6p to 426p, while Rolls-Royce and FTSE 250 listed Cobham climbed 12p to 1,204p and 5.5p to 265.5p respectively.
There may have been clarity on the budget cuts but traders were still worried about the US' plan for the end of QE and the focus moved toward next week's Federal Open Market Committee. Investors remained pessimistic and the FTSE 100 declined 15.59 to 6507.72.
One stock flying high was easyJet after analysts at Goldman Sachs rated it a buy because there is still plenty of growth in Europe's short haul market and it soared 41p to 1,481p.
New entrants to the FTSE 100 in the latest quarterly reshuffle were confirmed as Royal Mail and equipment rental company Ashtead Group (down 10p to 730p). Analysts at Nomura warned the postal group could struggle to restructure and it rated it reduce, down from neutral. Royal Mail lost 10.5p to 586p.
A trading update from soap-maker PZ Cussons was in line with expectations but issues with currency fluctuations remained and it lost 12.4p to 367.7p.
Imagination Technologies, the designer of smartphone graphic processor chips, was bottom of the mid-tier table and tumbled 59p – or 23.7 per cent – to 190p.
AIM-listed leather brand Mulberry placed 126,000 new shares at a price of 955p as part of management exercising share options and it dipped 6p to 999p.
Rialto Energy was renamed as Azonto Petroleum following a board overhaul; new managing director Rob Shepherd said the name change "reflects a fresh start". It spurted up 0.05p to 1.7p.
Salamander Energy has agreed a production-sharing contract which will see it work in Malaysia for the first time, and it jetted up 5.5p to 111.5p.Reuse content