The world’s biggest aluminium producer Alcoa announced better-than-expected figures after the US close last night, and this triggered a wave of buying in commodity-related stocks around the globe.
In addition, the UK's mining sector has shed 18% in the past three months, so traders may have felt the sell-off was overdone and embarked on a spot of bargain hunting.
Financial stocks were given a lift by the troika’s decision to unlock the next round of the bailout and release a €4.8 billion tranche to the Greek government. British banks have exposure to indebted eurozone nations so benefit from the increased stability of Greece living to see another day
In the US, the Dow started up 80 points at 15,304, with traders optimistic about the reporting season.