FTSE 100 closes higher despite weak China growth data

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(Close): The benchmark FTSE 100 closed up 1.68% on Tuesday, boosted by China's latest economic growth figures.

The index ended the day 96.88 points higher at 5,876.8.

The FTSE had sunk to its lowest level in more than three years on Monday amid concerns about the slowdown in China and falling oil prices.

Figures published Tuesday showed China grew by 6.9% last year, its slowest for 25 years, but investors were buoyed because that met expectations.

The mining sector in particular benefited. At one point shares in Glencore were up by nearly 13% before finishing the day 5.1% higher. Anglo American climbed 2.6%, BHP Billiton 3% and Rio Tinto 1.5%.

Oil also recovered some lost ground. Brent Crude rose by 2.9% to $29.38 a barrel.

One of the day's losers was defence firm BAE Systems, which fell 3% following a broker downgrade.

In the FTSE 250, online grocery retailing company Ocado gained 6.8% in the wake of media reports that Amazon was interested in bidding for it.

On the currency markets, the pound lost ground after Bank of England governor Mark Carney gave a speech repeating that there was no need for an immediate UK interest rate rise.

A short while ago it was down 0.44% on the day against the dollar at $1.41.81, and 0.60% lower against the euro at €1.29.92.