A late surge by investment manager Amvescap on top of big gains by Shell helped the FTSE gain 12.70 points to 4,642.80 by the close.
Amvescap picked up 23.25p to 298.75p.
Shell Transport & Trading closed up 11.75p at 435.5p On news it will combine with Royal Dutch Petroleum to simplify ownership of Royal Dutch/Shell.
Unilever is up 11.75p up to 464p as investors speculated the company could turn around from its results published yesterday.
Big fallers today include BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, after China's central bank raised its benchmark interest rates for the first time in nine years to curb inflation, prompting concern about slowing demand.
BHP Billiton dropped 41p to 1,423p.
Rio Tinto declined 21.50p to 558p.
Anglo American fell 36p to 1,203p.
Xstrata fell 53p or 6.57% to 839p. The world's biggest exporter of power-station coal offered A$7.4bn for Australia's WMC Resources to add nickel and copper mines, with WMC rejecting the bid as too low.
Stocks in the US are trading down.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index has lost about 12 points to about 9,989 points.
General motors is a climber, up $0.66 to $38.74.
Alcoa is down $1.28 to $32.09.IFAonline
Chris St John to take over £3bn UK Select Opps
The majority of financial advisers (85%) believe the number of self-invested personal pension (SIPP) providers will continue to fall in the coming year, according to Dentons Pension Management research.
Short-term noise or something sinister?