London shares closed higher for the fourth day in a row as hospitality and retail companies helped continue the winning streak.
Entiment across Europe was also generally more optimistic as recent concerns about the potential for further Covid restrictions appeared to have been clarified.
London trade was boosted by strong retail figures from the latest retail survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as well as positive notes from a number of hospitality and leisure firms, including Whitbread and the InterContinental Hotels Group.
The FTSE 100 closed up 24.05 points, or 0.33%, higher at 7,310.37p on Thursday.
The other major European markets also seemed to benefit from European Commission President Von der Leyen’s call for nations to increase vaccination efforts in the face of growing cases.
Joshua Mahoney, senior market analyst at IG, said: “European markets have had a relatively optimistic day today, with the lack of US involvement reducing volatility to the end.
“While rising Covid cases remain a key issue for mainland European economies, we have seen both the DAX and the CAC gain ground.”
The German Dax rose by 0.25% and the French Cac rose by 0.48%.
Across the Atlantic, Wall Street was closed for the day due to Thanksgiving celebrations.
Meanwhile, the pound was moving 0.03% higher against the US dollar at 1.332, up 0.04% against the euro at 1.188.
In the company’s news, Vivo Energy jumped to the top of the FTSE 350 after accepting a $ 2.3 billion (£ 1.7 billion) takeover bid from its major shareholder.
The listed Africa-focused retailer of Shell and Engen-branded fuels said it would recommend the offer from Vitol Investment Partnership, which already owns a 36% stake.
Shares in Vivo rose 20.6p to 132p.
All Bar One and Harvester owners Mitchells & Butlers made gains after the hospitality company narrowed its annual losses.
The company, which also operates Toby Carvery, saw an improvement in sentiment despite a warning that it is facing pressure from rising gas and electricity prices as well as food and staff costs due to supply and shortage of workers.
Shares in Mitchells & Butlers rose 8.4% to 244.4p at the end of the game.
Omega Diagnostics shares fell after they said they were “disappointed” at the government’s lack of progress and commitment on Covid-19 test contracts.
The Scotland-based medical diagnostics business fell 10.5p to 29.5p after telling shareholders on Thursday morning that it saw losses rise to £ 3.4 million for six months to September.
Oil prices were stable as traders digested the release of additional oil supplies earlier in the week.
Brent oil was flat at $ 82.25 per barrel. barrel when the London markets closed.
The biggest rises on the FTSE 100 were the Compass Group, up 49p to 1,584p; Whitbread, up 84p to 3,108p; IHG, up 135p to 5.042p; Land Securities, up 18.4p to 766.2p; and St James’s Place, up 36p to 1,586.5p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Vodafone, down 4p to 114.1p; United Utilities, down 16p to 740.2p; Darktrace, down 9p to 479.6p; Imperial Brands, down 23p to 1,594p; and Ocado, down 25p to 1,749p.