Miners and oils jump on improved commodity prices

BRITAIN&rsquo;S top shares closed 1.2 per cent higher yesterday, as miners and oil firms rose, underpinned by firmer commodity prices on the back of bullish economic data, while <strong>RBS</strong> fell as the lender faces asset sales.<br /><br />The FTSE 100 closed 59.95 points higher at 5,104.50 points, recouping some losses from Friday&rsquo;s 1.8 per cent fall.<br /><br />The index was down 1.7 per cent overall in October, the first monthly drop since June, but is still up about 48 per cent since its March low.<br /><br />Miners were supported by strong manufacturing data from the United States and China which reinforced the view that a recovery in demand was under way. <br /><br /><strong>Eurasian Natural Resources, Vedanta Resources, Lonmin</strong> and <strong>Rio Tinto</strong> rose 4.5 to 5.5 per cent.<br /><br />Rising to the top of the gainers list, <strong>Randgold Resources</strong> added 6 per cent after it agreed with <strong>AngloGold</strong> <strong>Ashanti</strong> to buy an additional 20 per cent in the Moto gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo for about $113.6m.<br /><br />Equities drew strength from data showing the US manufacturing sector grew in October for a third consecutive month and at a faster pace than expected. <br /><br />In the UK the CIPS/Markit purchasing managers index of manufacturing activity rose at its fastest rate in two years and new orders rose at their fastest in almost six years.<br /><br />Meanwhile, <strong>HSBC&rsquo;s</strong> China Purchasing Managers&rsquo; Index rose to an 18-month high in October of 55.4, pointing to sustained strength in the fast-growing manufacturing sector.<br /><br />Analysts say the market will focus on the Bank of England&rsquo;s next policy meeting on Thursday, with two-thirds of economists expecting the central bank to extend its &pound;175bn quantitative easing programme. <br /><br />Oil majors edged up as crude prices rose above $78 a barrel. <strong>BG Group, BP</strong> and <strong>Royal Dutch Shell</strong> added 0.3 to 1.9 per cent.<br /><br /><strong>Royal Bank of Scotland</strong> fell 7.8 per cent after the part-nationalised lender said talks with the European Commission over its state aid will include some divestments not initially contemplated. <strong>Lloyds Banking Group</strong> also part-owned by the government, was off 2.3 per cent as investors awaited developments with regards to a planned capital raising. Barclays rose 2.5 per cent, while HSBC was up 2.4 per cent .