China rate cut lifts mining shares

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(Close): China's surprise decision to cut interest rates boosted mining stocks on hopes the move would lift demand for commodities.

Shares in mining firms Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were all up by more than 5%.

The FTSE 100 was up 71.86 points at 6,750.76, also helped by energy shares after oil prices increased.

Brent crude cost more than $80 a barrel after China's rate cut and on hopes that cartel Opec would cut production.

There was speculation earlier on Friday that Opec members will agree to rein in production when they meet next week.

On the currency markets, the euro fell sharply after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said the bank was ready "step up the pressure" and take more measures to stimulate the eurozone.

The ECB has already cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.05% and begun some asset purchases, but Mr Draghi said the bank could alter "the size, pace and composition of our purchases".

The pound was up 1% against the euro to €1.2643, and the euro fell 1.14% against the dollar to $1.2397. The pound fell 0.13% against the dollar to $1.5671.

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