Leading London indices were in positive territory on Wednesday (7 December), after Standard Chartered pulled banking stocks higher as reports suggested the London-headquartered emerging markets focused bank was considering a European unit that would act as a legal base in the European Union once the UK exits the union.

Tracking gains in Asia, at 4:03pm BST, the FTSE 100 was up 1.51% or 102.67 points to 6,882.51, while FTSE 250 was up 0.80% or 140.02 to 17,592.11. A Bloomberg report suggested Standard Chartered has shortlisted Ireland's capital Dublin and Germany's financial hub Frankfurt for the entity.

However, a spokesman for Standard Chartered said: "Our focus is on ensuring market access for our clients, and we will maximise planning and preparedness while we observe developments over the next few months until Article 50 is triggered."

Overnight, British Airways-owner IAG said it carried 7.25m passengers in November, 5.2% more than in the same month last year. Both companies traded on positive sentiment with Standard Chartered up 4.60% and IAG up 4.46%

Rio Tinto (+6.92%), GKN (+4.30%) and Anglo American (+4.19%) completed the list of top five blue chip risers. On the flipside, the biggest five losers were Shire at 4377.00p (-184.00p, - 4.03%), WPP at 1644.00p (-50.00p, -2.95%), Bunzl at 1999.00p (-27.00p, 1.33%), Pearson at 783.50p (-9.50p, -1.20%) and Worldpay Group at 256.40p (-2.40p, or -0.93).

Away from the blue chips, five biggest risers on the FTSE 250 were Ladbrokes Coral at 125.50p (+6.80p, +5.73%) and IG Group Holdings at 511.00p (+25.90p, +5.34%), Evraz at 238.30p (+11.50p, +5.07%), BGEO Group at 3255.00p (+142.00p, +4.56%) and Restaurant Group at 345.20p (+14.30p, +4.32%).

The five midcaps to register to register the steepest declines were Carillion at 244.60p (-11.50p, 4.49%), Indivior at 297.20p (-13.90p, -4.47%), Tullow Oil at 300.60p (-10.40, -3.34%), G4S at 222.10p (-7.40p, -3.22%) and Galliford Try at 1264.00p (-38.00p, -2.92%).