In spite of falling 0.9pc last week, the benchmark index still maintained its strongest monthly gain since February. With the largest single-day fall in more than a fortnight, the FTSE 100 was still able to manage to record its best month for almost a year.

Britain’s benchmark index slid 61.2 points to 6,749.4, a 0.9pc fall which was considered the heaviest since mid-January and followed disappointing data on U.S. economic growth.

Still, last week’s loss was still not enough to halt the FTSE 100 from posting its largest monthly gain since last February. The European Central Bank was primarily responsible for bolstering the leading index 2.8pc over the course of January.

Speculation the ECB would launch a full-blown quantitative easing on January 22 floated the market ahead of the bank’s fundamental policy meeting and the announcement of a larger than expected quantitative easing program gave stocks across Europe further assistance.

Although apprehensions regarding Greece tempered some of the said gains this week, the pan-European Stoxx 600 still managed to enjoy its strongest start to a year since it started in 1989.

International Airlines Group rose as much as 36p in the early trade on news Qatar Airways recently bought a 99.99pc stake before fading to close down 19 1/2p at 544 1/2p, the FTSE 100 largest faller.

Traders said that the now Qatar had revealed its former disclosed stake, dealers had assumed a much substantial buyer removed from the market and hence pushed the stock much lower.

In the FTSE 250, Zoopla recorded the heaviest fall which slid down 10.7p to 180p following the viable alternative to the mid-capper.

Afren, the beleaguered oil producer, was considered the best-performing FTSE250 stock, which was up 26.2pc -1.1p to 5.3p-albeit relief that its primary support, Seplat had not abandoned bid talks. The takeover panel on Friday extended the deadline for Seplat which made a firm offer or walk away to February 13.

Furthermore, shares in the precious metal miners rose in tandem with spot gold and silver prices. Moreover, Rangold Resources advanced 265p to £56.85 with Fresnillo adding 25 q/2p to 899 respectively.

Finally, Asos was able to leap 234p to ¬£27.47 following Exane BNP Paribas saying that last year’s troubles when the trio of profit warning sent the shares sliding 57.9pc, were behind the online fashion retailer.