LONDON (ShareCast) – Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE – news) was a strong riser as it recovered from last week’s news that it had lost some of its market share to the likes of discount stores Lidl and Aldi.

Sector peer Tesco (Xetra: TCO.DE – news) was also making decent gains after it was reported the company is planning to launch its F&F range in the US.

Other stocks were helped by a defensive approach from investors as they turned to those stocks typically considered safer bets, including Diageo (LSE: DGE.L – news) , British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS.L – news) , Imperial Tobacco Group and Reckitt Benckiser Group.

BP (LSE: BP.L – news) has moved off its lows of the session, allowing the Footsie to recover, or so some say. In that regard, some market commentary is highlighting the firm’s exposure to Russia and hence to any escalation in tensions in eastern Ukraine. Later reports indicated that the Ukraine, Russia, US and EU will hold talks on April 17th aimed at trying to resolve the crisis.

After months of negotiations, commodities trader and mining giant Glencore Xstrata (Other OTC: GLCNF – news) finally reached an agreement to sell its Las Bambas copper project in Peru, giving the stock a decent lift. Glencore said it would use part of the $ 5.85bn proceeds for a capital return to shareholders.

Fellow miners Randgold Resources (Dusseldorf: RGR1.DU – news) and Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF – news) tracked metal prices higher.

Insurance giant Aviva (Other OTC: AIVAF – news) was also moving in a positive direction after it this morning said it had agreed to sell its entire 47% stake in its South Korean business Woori Aviva Life Insurance (WALI) to NongHyup Financial Group (NHFG).

Leading the downside were stocks which have performed well over the past year, including airlines easyJet and IAG, as investors took profits.

Sports Direct (Frankfurt: A0MK5S – news) was the biggest of these, having reached its record high within the last two weeks, followed closely by both Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT.L – news) and Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV.L – news) .

FTSE 100 – Risers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 321.30p +3.78%
Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW.L – news) (TLW) 850.00p +2.78%
Diageo (Berlin: GUI.BE – news) (DGE) 1,921.50p +2.62%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,849.00p +2.43%
Tesco (Frankfurt: TS3.F – news) (TSCO) 287.00p +2.12%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,771.00p +2.05%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,457.00p +1.90%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,486.00p +1.59%
Standard Chartered (HKSE: 2888.HK – news) (STAN) 1,341.00p +1.48%
Fresnillo (Berlin: FNL.BE – news) (FRES) 921.50p +1.43%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Sports Direct International (Other OTC: SDISY – news) (SPD) 733.00p -4.93%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 838.00p -4.77%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 370.00p -4.22%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,630.00p -4.12%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 376.40p -4.00%
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.L – news) (HL.) 1,210.00p -3.74%
Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK.L – news) (TPK) 1,712.00p -3.22%
ITV (Frankfurt: IJ7.F – news) (ITV (LSE: ITV.L – news) ) 177.20p -3.17%
Wolseley (Frankfurt: 24W2.F – news) (WOS) 3,232.00p -2.86%
Whitbread (Frankfurt: WHF4.F – news) (WTB) 3,920.00p -2.73%