The pound has made gains despite a flurry of gloomy economic reports, while advances among bank stocks helped the wider market push higher
Official figures showing disappointing trade data, but a stronger-than-expected performance from the manufacturing sector, saw the pound make strong gains against the US dollar and hold firm against the euro.
Sterling lifted 0.6% to 1.32 US dollars and was flat at 1.12 euros.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 30 points higher at the time of close in London, having earlier hit a fresh all time high.
In London, the focus was on a string of economic reports, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the…