The FTSE 100 Index gained 1% to 6,024.30 points today as Wall Street surged at the start of trade and miners hogged the top spots.
BHP Billiton led the risers after it completed a larger than expected share buyback, with shares gaining 6.37% to 1,118.50p.
Rio Tinto added 4.48% to 3,053p, Xstrata rose 3.86% to 1,935p and Antofagasta gained 2.34% to 2,187p in sympathy.
Oil and gas explorer BG Group gave a bullish assessment of its operations today as the company said it traded ahead of expectations in the first quarter. Merrill Lynch said “buy” following the update. BG's shares rose 1.25% to 728.50p.
A rise in oil prices lifted BP up 2.04% to 674.50p and Shell gained 1.18% to 1,894p.
Standard Chartered also posted good gains as talk of a £19bn bid from Singaporean investor and largest shareholder Temasek resurfaced. Its shares closed 2.65% higher at 1,470p.
Meanwhile, mortgage lender Northern Rock fell 0.68% to 1,176p, despite saying its goals remain on target as it forecast a continued gentle improvement in the housing market.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 113.42 points, or 1%, to 11,222.74 points.
Alcatel's agreement to buy Lucent took Alcatel's American depositary receipts 80 cents higher to $16.20 and Lucent 3 cents higher to $3.08. The combined company will have $25bn in sales, which would rival Cisco Systems for the top spot in the phone and computer-network equipment market.
Oil has climbed on concern Iran will cut supplies as the nation's dispute with the US over its nuclear program escalates. Crude for May delivery has gained 1.3% to $67.50 a barrel and Exxon Mobil has added 48 cents to $61.34.
ConocoPhillips has jumped $2.05 to $65.20. Shares of the largest US oil refiner were rated "overweight" in resumed coverage by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
General Motors has fallen 19 cents to $21.08, even after selling a majority of its General Motors Acceptance for $7.4bn to a group led by Cerberus Capital Management LP and Citigroup's private-equity group.IFAonline
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