Shares in publishing group Pearson surged by nearly 10 percent, topping the FTSE, after it reported strong earnings due to a rise in its educational publications business, the largest in the world.
Pearson, the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper, cut its exposure to advertising to 3 percent of total sales. The FT Group reported a fall of 13 percent in underlying profit in the first half of the year. Pearson's underlying adjusted operating profit rose 21 percent.
Lloyds Banking Group shares rose nearly 4 percent after Nomura upgraded the stock to "buy" from "reduce."
Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland were also 3 percent up.