Sterling eased back despite the House of Commons voting against a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday evening, helping the FTSE 100 gain 0.4% to 7,185.
After the UK market close MPs will have a further vote on whether to delay Brexit.
Reports that US President Donald Trump was in no hurry to seal a trade deal with China led to a subdued performance on Wall Street with the Dow Jones up just 12.8 points to 25,715 at around 5pm UK time.
Brent crude oil dipped 0.3% to $67.34 per barrel.
LARGE AND MID CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Cineworld jumped 3.8% after it said pre-tax profits more than doubled led by strong performance in its US business as a record number of moviegoers flocked to its theatres to watch box office hits.
Shares in tour operator TUI flew 3.7% higher to 798.4p on a positive research note from Morgan Stanley.
Outsourcing group Capita retreated 0.6% to 119p after it reported profits slightly ahead of guidance after completing the first year of its three-year turnaround strategy.
International property agent Savills slid 3.8% to 888.5p, paring earlier heavier losses, as it said it expected to see declining transaction volumes in some markets this year in line with global uncertainties even as it reported revenue growth for full-year 2018.
Pensions provider Just Group dived 12.5% after it scrapped its dividend for the year and laid out plans to raise funds to shore up its balance sheet despite reporting operating profits rose by nearly a third.
Specialist landscape products group Marshalls added 7.1% as it posted an increase in 2018 revenue and pre-tax profit on Thursday as strong second-half growth offset the impact of severe weather in the first four months of the year.
DFS Furniture lost 0.6% to 234p even as it said it more than doubled profits in the first five months of its fiscal year as growth in its online channel helped offset the doom and gloom on the high street, which the retailer warned would continue into 2019.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Debenhams rose 1.4% after it said it would carefully consider Sports Direct's offer to provide the company with an interest-free 12-month loan of £150m in exchange for a further 5% stake as it required the consent of its creditors.
Brooks Macdonald Group edged 1.1% higher to £16.05 despite saying that funds under management slipped as investment performance took a hit from choppy market conditions in December last year.