London Markets: FTSE 100 steps higher as miners get a boost from China

U.K. stocks pushed higher Thursday, opening the first day of trade in September with gains for mining shares.

The FTSE 100 UKX, -0.11% rose 0.6% to 6,819.62, led by the basic materials and financial groups. The index on Wednesday lost 0.6%, weighed by declines among oil and mining shares.

But mining shares strengthened Thursday after manufacturing data from China — a major buyer of industrial and precious metals — were released. Glencore PLC GLEN, +1.38%GLCNF, +0.00% rose 2.6%, Antofagasta PLC ANTO, +0.61% picked up 2.1%, and BHP Billiton PLC BLT, -1.47%BHP, -3.88%BHP, -2.02% picked up 1.3%.

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