The FTSE gathered some strength by the close, climbing 17.49 points higher to 7,748 as banking stocks gained momentum.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) rallied 4.6% to 293.4p on the back of investment bank Morgan Stanley's upgrade from 'equal weight' to 'overweight.'
Shares in HSBC (HSBC) advanced 3.8% to 795.5p and Lloyds (LLOY) ticked 0.8% higher to 69.9p.
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey (TW.) warned of political and economic risks. Its order book declined year-on-year from £1.68bn to £1.62bn, causing the stock to drop 4.1% to 200.2p.
Investors marked down peers Persimmon (PSN) and Barratt Development (BDEV) too.
Brent crude oil was up 0.6% at $69.21 per barrel. Gold glittered at $1,320 per ounce and copper climbed 0.9% to $3.22 per pound.
A 1.4% increase in UK manufacturing helped the index of production gain 1.2% in the three months to August 2017 according to the Office for National Statistics.
The picture was not as rosy in construction as output contracted by 2% in November, representing the largest fall since August 2012.
MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Superdry (SDRY) fell 9.3% to £18.50 after the premium quality clothing retailer delivered a solid set of numbers instead of an outstanding performance over Christmas.
UK supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY) was in the headlines as it expects profit to beat expectations following record Christmas trading. Shares in the company advanced 2.2% to 253.9p.
Recruiter PageGroup (PAGE) gained 9.6% to 516p as gross profit rose 11.7% in the fourth quarter. The firm also said full year profit is expected to exceed previous guidance.
Luxury retailer Ted Baker (TED) reported a 9% rise in retail sales in the eight weeks to 6 January, driven by good growth in online sales. Its shares strutted 9.9% higher to £31.18.
Senior (SNR) said it expects a one-off exceptional non-cash tax credit thanks to US tax reforms, which cuts the corporate income tax to 21%. The stock increased 7.3% to 287.8p.
The Financial Conduct Authority revealed areas of 'serious concern' in its review of contract for difference providers and distributors. CMC Markets (CMCX) suffered a 2.3% hit to 154p and IG (IGG) declined 4.3% to 745p. On AIM, spreadbetter Plus 500 (500) retreated 5.5% to £10.71.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Formal menswear specialist Moss Bros (MOSB) slumped 15.5% to 76p following an 8% decline in like-for-like sales since December and a cut in profit guidance.
Struggling Interserve (IRV) rallied 19.5% to 119p, driven by expectations that 2018 operating profit would beat previous guidance and in-line trading for 2017.
The failure to complete two contracts was bad news for Cambridge Cognition (COG). The monitoring software developer reported sales would fall in 2017 after two contracts worth £2.3m did not complete by the end of the year. Its shares crashed 17.8% to 126.5p.
Video games developer Frontier Developments (FDEV) implied sales of Elite Dangerous would 'normalise down' in the second half of the year. This concerned the market as its shares slid 4.3% to £14.25.