LONDON - Britain's top shares snapped a three session losing streak on Thursday, led higher by gains in commodity and financial stocks as a fall in US jobless claims fuelled recovery hopes.
The weekly claims figure was the lowest for four years and complemented last week's fall in US unemployment, providing another piece of evidence that the economy may be in better shape and helping US blue chips add 0.3 percent.
The FTSE 100 index closed up 53.04 points, or 0.9 percent at 5,829.75, recovering after reaching its lowest level since October 1 early on Thursday.
"FTSE back at the important 5,800 level after bouncing off support. If we can hold this level then we might just be about to hear people discussing a year-end rally," said Lex van Dam, a partner at hedge fund Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million (314.8 million pounds) of assets.
Gains by mining stocks provided the biggest lift for the blue chips, up 1.7 percent, supported by a firmer copper price as the US data relieved worries over global growth prospects. Hopes that top metals consumer China could launch fresh stimulus measures offered additional help.