sector, however, saying that while tail risk is reducing around the UK banks, with capital positions robust, the recent performance by their stocks leaves upside modest.
Royal Bank of Scotland missed out on the sector gains, with the part-state-owned lender shedding 1.3 percent as the Daily Telegraph reported that it could be forced to explore the sale of core businesses after the Bank of England increased the pressure on lenders to raise new capital.
Separately, the bank said the sale of its Indian retail and commercial banking operations would not proceed.
Among other blue-chip fallers, Kingfisher extended its declines after disappointing Q3 results on Thursday, down 0.4 percent as UBS cut its rating to "neutral" from "buy".
But positive broker comment fuelled gains in testing firm
Intertek, up 1.0 percent after Berenberg raised its rating to "buy" from "hold" in a UK support services review.
Outsourcing firms Babcock and Capita were also in demand, ahead 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, as Berenberg started coverage on both with "buy" ratings.
"Things are still looking quite optimistic and we are expecting a continuation of the trend seen in the past few weeks, leading to a festive rally," Capital Spreads' Campbell said.