The FTSE 100 made some modest gains on Monday, kicking off the week with a lacklustre session.
The blue-chip index closed 12.47 points, or 0.17%, higher at 7,440.66.
It came amid a subdued session for European markets, but trading across the pond was boosted by hopes that the Federal Bank will keep rates lower for longer. The S&P and Nasdaq both reached fresh all-time highs.
The French Cac was up 0.21% and the German Dax climbed 0.1%.
Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “European indices hovered around the flat line as investors digested the Spanish election results and data showing that the eurozone economy was still faltering.”
The pound was broadly flat, trading 0.01% lower against the euro at 1.157 and 0.04% up on the dollar at 1.292.
David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Brexit might not be in the news as much these days, and it feels like the pound is in limbo. While sterling remains below the 1.3000 mark, its outlook should remain bearish.”
Oil prices continued to suffer from Donald Trump’s remarks last week, in which he pressured Opec to boost output. But Brent Crude closed higher, climbing almost 1% to trade at 72.29 US dollars.
In London, Ocado shares were 8.5p lower at 1,389.5p. It came after the company revealed that an electrical fault was to blame for the huge fire at its Andover facility. But analysts said the decline could be linked to profit-taking.
Auto Trader chief executive Trevor Mather is to retire from the top role at the online car dealership, months after leading it into the FTSE 100.
Mr Mather, who joined the business as CEO in 2013, led the group’s £2.3 billion flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 2015 and has helped its share value rise by more than 70% in the past year.
News of his departure prompted a 9.8p drop in the group’s share price to 570p.
Ultimate Products, the firm behind Russell Hobbs, has posted a rise in half-year sales as it navigated “difficult trading conditions”.
The firm saw revenue increase 36% to £65.8 million in the six months to January 31, while pre-tax profit jumped 48.5% to £5.9 million.
Shares were up 6.4p to 77.4p.
Shareholders in Metro Bank have been advised to vote against the re-election of founder and chairman Vernon Hill as the lender grapples with the fallout of a major accounting blunder.
Investor advisory firm Glass Lewis has recommended that shareholders reject Mr Hill’s reappointment at the lender’s annual meeting next month, citing millions in payments made by Metro to his wife’s architecture firm InterArch.
Shares were 1.5p higher at 802.5p
Shares in Loungers jumped 1.75p to 216.25p on the first day of trading for the British bar chain, after it floated on the London AIM index.
Loungers, which owns 146 bars under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, began trading at market opening on Monday following its £83 million initial public offering (IPO).
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were NMC Health up 155p to 2,903p, Tui AG up 22.4p to 866.6p, Barclays up 3.66p to 164.7p and Melrose Industries up 4.2p to 205.3p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Fresnillo down 15.6p to 740.6p, Whitbread down 98p to 4,754p, Pearson down 16.2p to 842.4p and Auto Trader down 9.8p to 570p.