The FTSE 100 index shot up in early Monday trading, nearing record intra-day levels. It failed to keep up the momentum but closed 53 points up at 6581.
The FTSE 250 index, meanwhile, closed up 33.9 at 5947.5. The engineering sector put in a modest performance, up 0.2% at 2848.5.
Aerospace and defence stocks had a slight fall, losing 1.0% to 2494.5.
British Aerospace gained 2p to 410p after it emerged that the company was one of seven pursuing a £7-10bn contract to provide a replacement air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft for the RAF.
Other bidders include Rolls-Royce, down 12.75p at 287p, and Cobham, 3.5p up at 997p.
GEC climbed 15.5p to 652p, nearing its record high of 679.5p, and engineering minnow Cirqual was up 9.5p at 188.5p, ahead of results from stakeholders Gartland Whalley & Barker, the corporate development vehicle.
McKechnie reversed recent losses to put on a 5.5p increase to 502p – despite a recent broker downgrade. TI was another riser, up 10p to 460p, while Tomkins jumped 9p to 275p amid continued speculation of a major sell-off.
The proposed sell-off of Tomkins’ baking interest, Rank Hovis McDougall, is said to be the result of a board-room dispute involving executive chairman Greg Hutchings, though this was emphatically denied by the company.