Miners lead FTSE up as China injects confidence

The FTSE 100 bounced back today despite the deepening Eurozone crisis which has seen Ireland's credit rating downgraded to junk by ratings agency Moody's.

Miners led the fight back on the blue chip index while investors across Europe were given a boost by positive economic data from China.

Its GDP rose 9.5 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year - a higher jump than expected.

Meanwhile UK unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the total number of unemployed fell by 26,000 over the past quarter to 2.45m.

Although miners were the strongest performers overall, luxury retailer Burberry was the fastest climber, up 6.1 per cent after reporting strong sales figures.

Then came miners Fresnillo, which was up 3.4 per cent, Kazakhmys 2.3 per cent. Xstrata and Antofagasta lifted by 2.2 per cent.

On the down side Marks and Spencer dropped 2.5 per cent despite reporting a sales rise and improvement in market share. Investors were apparently spooked by M&S warning over the tough outlook. The company's shareholders meeting will be held later today, when boardroom remuneration is expected to be put in the spotlight.

Fellow retailer Next was down 1.3 per cent while consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser dropped 1.4 per cent. Chip maker Arm Holdings was down 1.3 per cent.

BSkyB lost more than one per cent as Rupert Murdoch's bid for the company hit the buffers.

Across the FTSE clothing retailer SuperGroup surged by 13 per cent after reporting an 89 per cent increase in annual profit. On the flip side chocolatier Thorntons dropped four per cent after announcing another sales slump.

In Europe L'Oreal tumbled 5.5 percent after posting disappointing quarterly sales while French grocery giant Carrefour struggled after the collapse of a deal to give it a foothold in the Brazilian market.

Across the Atlantic, the latest weekly US mortgage and refinancing figures are due for release later.