THE FTSE 100 added 0.3 per cent yesterday, extending its winning streak to eight sessions thanks to modest gains on Wall Street and solid second-quarter results from drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline. At the close, the index was 12.56 points higher at 4,493.73, up 8.2 per cent over the past eight sessions.<br /><br />Drug maker <strong>Shire</strong> was the best large-cap performer, up 4 per cent, with its second-quarter results due in a few weeks, while <strong>AstraZeneca</strong> gained 1.2 per cent. <br /><br />But <strong>GlaxoSmithKline</strong> surrendered earlier gains, shedding 0.6 per cent on profit-taking after its second-quarter earnings beat expectations and the firm said momentum in the second half would pick up on the back of flu vaccine sales.<br /><br />Other defensive stocks were in demand as investor’s risk appetite abated slightly after the recent strong run, with tobaccos, mobile telcoms and utilities standing out. <br /><br /><strong>Imperial Tobacco</strong> was a strong gainer, up 2.7 per cent ahead of a trading update due today, while <strong>British American Tobacco</strong> added 1.2 per cent. Market heavyweight <strong>Vodafone</strong> gained 1.0 per cent after BT Ireland said it would transfer its consumer and small business broadband and voice consumer base to Vodafone Ireland. <br /><br />Among utilities, <strong>Severn Trent</strong> added 1.2 per cent, extending Tuesday’s gains, which followed a trading update, while <strong>Pennon</strong> firmed 2.2 per cent and <strong>Scottish & Southern Energy</strong> took on 1.8 per cent, ahead of today’s update.<br /><br />Nomura pointed out that shares in the water companies have been overly pessimistic ahead of today’s draft price determination by regulator OFWAT.<br /><br />Oil majors were mixed as crude prices stayed weak. <strong>Royal Dutch Shell</strong> lost 0.5, but <strong>BP</strong> added 0.1 per cent and <strong>BG Group</strong> gained 1.7 per cent helped by the re-emergence of vague takeover talk.<br /><br />Banks were weak after the latest results from their US peers dampened optimism about a recovery in the financial sector. <strong>Barclays</strong>, <strong>Lloyds Banking Group</strong>, <strong>Royal Bank of Scotland</strong> and <strong>Standard Chartered</strong> shed between 0.3 and 3.1 per cent.<strong> HSBC</strong> added 1.0 per cent.<br /><br />Insurers suffered too, with <strong>Aviva</strong>, <strong>Legal & General</strong> and <strong>Standard Life</strong> off 0.3 to 2.2 per cent.<br /><br />Weakness in mining issues weighed heaviest on the blue chips as investors booked profits after a recent rally.<br /><br /><strong>Lonmin</strong>,<strong> Kazakhmys</strong>, <strong>BHP Billiton</strong>, <strong>Eurasian Natural Resources</strong> and Antofagasta fell between 1.0 and 3.2 per cent.<br /><br />BHP Billiton reported a 10 per cent fall in iron ore output to 27.048m tonnes after its operations were hit by mining fatalities and flooding in Australia. <br /><br />On the macroeconomic front, Confederation of British Industry industrial data showed that its manufacturing order book fell to its lowest level since January 1992.