Expectations of a breakthrough in the Greek crisis helps send London’s blue chip index 62.92 points higher to 6,643. Investors hope a deal to stop the country exiting the Eurozone can be reached after Athens submitted a new plan to tackle its huge debts. Tax rises and pension reform are at the heart of its proposals.
The FTSE has also been buoyed by European and Chinese investment funds, which feature prominently among the FTSE 350 gainers as Asian stocks extend their Thursday gains into the weekend and investors position themselves for more Greece negotiations.
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS), a £718 million investment trust, gains 5% to 136p and Fidelity European Values, with a market capitalisation of £746 million, gains 3.4% to 182p.
Meanwhile, oil services firm Petrofac (PFC) gains 4.2% to 887.5p as it announces the award of a $780 million project for Kuwait Oil Company’s manifold group trunkline system in the north of the country.
A new stage in the legal battle with its former executive chairman Jim Ellerton sees Sefton Resources (SER:AIM) sink 11.8% to 0.08p. Having initiated legal proceedings against the company in May Ellerton has now filed a motion to force the company into bankruptcy proceedings.
Low-cost carrier Ryanair (RYA) advances 2.3% to €12.39 after the Irish airline's board accepted the IAG (IAG) offer for its 29% stake in national flag carrier Aer Lingus (AERL). IAG meanwhile is up 2.1% to 525.5p.
Sausage skin manufacturer Devro (DVO), a running Play of the Week, edges up another 1.75p to 311p on the €12.5 million acquisition of Holland's PVI, another maker of collagen gels used in meat processing.
Stem cell specialist ReNeuron (RENE:AIM) advances 7.6% to 5.2p on plans to raise £68.4 million from a placing to fund its pipeline until the first half of 2019, when it is scheduled to file two of its products for approval.