Friday market close: Mining stocks recovery helps extend gains

Miners led the London market higher, at the end of a week which saw it deliver its strongest weekly gains for almost four years.

The FTSE 100 index rose 41.34 points to 6,416.16, securing eight days of rises in a row as commodity stocks dominated the leaderboard.

Over the week the market lifted more than 280 points, or 4.7 per cent, its strongest performance since December 2011.

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Traders were cheered by the release of US Federal Reserve minutes from September, which decided it was “prudent to wait” for more information before raising rates from near zero.

Investors took this to mean the Fed is unlikely to hike rates before the end of the year, giving them an element of certainty.

In UK economic news, Britain’s construction sector shrank at its sharpest rate for almost three years in August, according to official data, fuelling concerns that the economy slowed in the third quarter.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Britain’s building output in August compared with last month plunged by 4.3 per cent, its biggest fall since December 2012.

But Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell said: “As has been the case for the entire week a few dodgy figures couldn’t distract the markets from their gains.”

Biggest risers on the FTSE 100 index were Anglo American up 49p at 726.5p, Glencore up 8.5p at 129.1p, Standard Chartered up 38p at 786.7p and Ashtead Group up 44p at 1,045p.