FTSEgiven boost by strong gains in energy and mining

Britain&rsquo;s top shares added 1.8 per cent yesterday, lifted by gains in miners and energy issues as commodity prices rose on an improved demand outlook and investors looked towards further earnings news from the United States.<br /><br />The FTSE 100 ended 91.30 points higher at 5,281.54, a new peak for 2009 on the 22nd anniversary of the &ldquo;Black Monday&rdquo; stock market crash of October 1987.<br /><br />Oil majors provided the main strength for blue chips as crude prices hit a year-high of $79.05 a barrel yesterday, rising for the eighth straight session.<br /><br /><strong>BP, Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group </strong>and<strong> Tullow Oil </strong>all advanced between 0.6 and 2.7 per cent.<br /><br />&ldquo;The anniversary of &ldquo;Black Monday&rdquo; passed without event as the FTSE continued to power ahead ... (and) strength in equities showed little sign of abating as demand remains robust,&rdquo; said Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital.<br /><br />&ldquo;Although mining and banking stocks are leading the march ... investors are happy to buy across the board, as long as the payoff is better than cash on deposit,&rdquo; Ladwa added.<br /><br />Miners found support as metals prices rose on the back of a weak US dollar and on hopes for improved demand as corporate earnings recover.<br /><br /><strong>Anglo American, Xstrata, Fresnillo, Vedanta Resources, Kazakhmys </strong>and<strong> Rio Tinto </strong>added 1.9 to 4.8 per cent.<br /><br />The US earnings season remained the major focus for investors seeking further signs of recovery in global demand.<br /><br />US blue chips were stronger by London's close, up 1.0 per cent as investors looked to the next batch of earnings news for direction after some disappointments last Friday from <strong>Bank of America </strong>and<strong> General Electric</strong>.<br /><br />Fund manager Schroders was the top UK blue chip gainer, up 5 per cent as investors sought issues leveraged to an equity market recovery, with hedge fund Man Group up 3.0 per cent, and London Stock Exchange up 3.6 per cent.<br /><br />Banks were positive thanks to gains in heavyweight <strong>HSBC</strong>, up 2.3 per cent, while <strong>Barclays</strong> and <strong>Standard Chartered </strong>added 2.6 and 1.4 per cent, respectively.<br />However, the part-nationalised banks were weak.