FTSE 100 rises as China data boosts mining shares

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(Close): After falling at first, the London market rallied to stand higher by the end of trading, with mining companies benefiting from stronger-than-expected Chinese trade figures.

Having fallen as much as 0.5% in early trade, the FTSE 100 index was 0.4% higher at 6,366.24.

Mining shares led the way, with Anglo American up 4.7% and Rio Tinto 4.2% higher.

At one point, Brent crude hit its lowest price since December 2010.

It fell to $87.74 a barrel before recovering slightly to $88.40. US crude fell $1.30 to $84.52 a barrel.

Growth fears

The FTSE 100 fell by nearly 3% last week, after a run of poor economic figures from Germany raised fears of another recession in the eurozone.

And despite Monday's modest rally in shares, analysts expect investors to remain cautious.

"Ratings agencies are downgrading their outlook on France, Tuesday's German ZEW data is thought unlikely to inspire, the European Council is likely to reject the latest French budget, and Thursday's eurozone inflation figures are a real cause for concern." said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG.

Among individual shares, in the FTSE 250 Synergy Health jumped 31.4% after the company agreed to be bought by IS firm Steris for £1.2bn.

Shares in Thorntons fell 4% after the chocolate maker reported an 11.9% drop in sales in the 14 weeks to 4 October.

However, Thorntons - which has been closing stores in order to concentrate on online sales - said it expected sales to recover in the current quarter.

Thorntons also said it was "confident" it was on track to meet market forecasts of full-year pre-exceptional pre-tax of £9.65m.

On the currency markets, the pound dipped 0.07% against the dollar to $1.6064, and fell 0.5% against the euro to €1.2666.