The FTSE 100 Index was on the front foot once more as better-than-expected data from China and the US calmed investor nerves after a volatile week.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 35.5 points higher at 6263.9, having sunk more than 60 points on Thursday in the wake of European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s pessimistic outlook for the eurozone economy.
The top tier had plunged more than 100 points on Monday - the biggest points fall in a day since July last year - amid fears of a return to political turmoil in Italy and Spain.
But there was some encouragement from the beleaguered region today after EU leaders finally agreed on a budget framework for the next seven years, which will see a real-terms cut in spending to £773bn.
Mining stocks were a big factor in London’s improved performance, with Anglo American up 35.5p to 1972.5p and Eurasian Natural Resources ahead 6.7p to 377.7p after further signs of a rebound in China’s export growth.
There was also some cheer from America as robust trade figures suggested fourth quarter gross domestic product may be revised higher.
In currency news, the pound gained strength against most major currencies amid signs the Bank of England will refrain from extending its economy-boosting quantitative easing scheme.
Incoming Bank boss Mark Carney told MPs yesterday the current policy may be enough to spur on recovery, helping sterling rise to $1.58 and 1.18 euros.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were GKN up 9.6p to 255.5p, International Airlines Group ahead 7.3p to 218.5p, Old Mutual 6.1p higher at 192p and Standard Chartered up 44p to 1694p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Imperial Tobacco down 47p to 2300p, Randgold Resources off 120p to 6000p, Severn Trent 29p lower at 1589p and Schroders down 25p to 1974p.