FTSE 100 boosted by mining companies

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Mining shares pulled the FTSE 100 higher, with Anglo American leading the way boosted by hopes demand for metals in China will increase.

The FTSE 100 closed 51.83 points, or 0.8%, higher at 6,405.35.

Anglo American shares rose 8.5%, with Antofagasta up 7.6% and silver miner Fresnillo up 5.1%, after the price of silver hit a 10-month high.

Hopes that China's economy is not slowing as quickly as feared helped to support the sector.

"With Chinese data clearly showing tentative signs of a resurgence, there is a feeling that the commodities sector as a whole will begin recover despite ongoing reservations over the crude oil glut," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

Shares in Primark owner Associated British Foods rose 1.9% after reporting a small rise in half-year profits.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose 4% to £466m for the 24 weeks to 27 February, with sales down 2% to £6.1bn.

On the currency markets, the pound rose nearly a cent against the dollar to $1.4384, and was up more than half a euro cent against the euro at €1.2653.