Chinese data boosts FTSE 100

The blue chip index rebounded strongly this morning, as large-cap mining and engineering stocks led the rally on the back of improved Chinese trade data.

Chinese exports and imports jumped more than expected last month, pointing to both stronger domestic demand and to a recovery in the world economy as a whole, which led to investors snapping up mining stocks.

There was also positive news from Europe, with EU leaders agreeing the framework for a new long-term budget on Friday after 15 hours of intense negotiations.

Chilean miner Antofagasta topped the FTSE 100 leader board in early deals, rising three per cent. Anglo American added two per cent.

Blue chip engineers Weir Group and Aggreko soared 2.65 per cent and 1.93 per cent respectively.

Financial shares also had a good showing. Credit scoring firm Experian soared 2.4 per cent, while long-term savings group Old Mutual rose two per cent.

The improved sentiment boosted UK banking shares, which had a poor showing earlier this week. HSBC was up 1.37 per cent, RBS soared 1.68 per cent and Barclays jumped 1.2 per cent. Only Lloyds Banking Group was broadly flat on yesterday’s close.

FTSE 100 fallers this morning included gold miner Randgold Resources, falling 0.9 per cent, Imperial Tobacco, shedding 0.8 per cent and utility Severn Trent, falling 0.75 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 1.8 per cent down while in the US, the Dow Jones closed down 0.3 per cent.