London equities were stronger on Thursday, after banks and mining stocks once more helped drive the FTSE 100 over the 4,000-points mark.

London’s benchmark index ended the session up 85 points to 4,052.98, a rise of 2.1 per cent.

“For the moment, the FTSE 100 seems happy to drift either side of the 4,000 level. We should not be surprised at this; the market has been directional for so long that a period of consolidation was probably overdue,” said John Prior, technical analyst at Killik & Co.

London’s leaderboard had a familiar look, featuring banks and resource stocks as a measure of risk taking once more came after a more defensive feel to the preceding session’s trade.

Banks were helped by stronger-than forecast first-quarter earnings numbers from JP Morgan.

Barclays was 7.7 per cent higher at 212p, Lloyds Banking Group rose 6.7 per cent to 89.7p and HSBC made gains of 2.4 per cent to 488p.

Mining stocks moved back into the forefront of the cautious advance. Silver processor Kazakhmys was the pick of the bunch, up 6.2 per cent at 517½p.

There were losses for Bunzl, the distributor of a range of products from carrier bags to bandages to hotels and offices, after it reported a fall in underlying revenue and pressure on its margins. Shares in the company fell 10.1 per cent to 484¼p and the bottom of the FTSE 100.

Credit reference agency Experian, highly exposed to US markets, lost 5.3 per cent to 442¼p after it said organic revenue growth could soften in the next three months.

Mid-cap engineering software writer Aveva told of plans to cut jobs as it prepared to face an expected revenue decline of between 30 per cent and 40 per cent from initial licence fees. It said it planned to reduce its workforce by 10 per cent. Its shares fell by 2.1 per cent to 577½p.

Overall, the mid-cap FTSE 250 was 1.6 per cent higher at 7,224.76, an advance of 115 points.

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