UK stocks : FTSE 100 closes up 0.4 pct
Technical indicators showed that even though the rally could stall in the near-term, the longer-term picture remained bullish, with many forecasters expecting the blue-chip FTSE 100 index to rise over the course of 2013.
The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4 percent, or 22.05 points higher, at 6,154.41 points - its best finish since the start of 2013 and its highest level since around mid-2008.
The UK market also outperformed falls on Germany's DAX and France's CAC-40 indexes.
Mining stocks, which account for much of the weighting of the FTSE 100, featured prominently on the leaderboard, with Evraz rising 4.5 percent to end the day as the best-performing blue-chip stock.
The broader FTSE 350 mining index gained 0.2 percent, after growth in China - the world's top metals consumer - beat forecasts in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Traders focused on the overall picture for a growing global economy rather than fresh signs of UK economic weakness, after British retail sales fell.
"Growth in China is good for the miners, whereas investor sentiment has turned against the retail stocks," said JN Financial derivatives trader Rick Jones.
The drop in UK retail sales hit sterling on the foreign exchange markets and sent down retail stocks such as Kingfisher , which was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 as it fell 4.3
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