Britain's top share index climbed early on Monday, bouncing after the previous session's sharp falls as miners were boosted by some bullish broker comment, although broader bearish sentiment left gains looking shaky.

The UK blue-chip index <.FTSE> was up 19.57 points, or 0.4 percent, at 5,671.36 at 0809 GMT, having closed 58.67 points lower on Friday, led by drops in banks and commodity stocks on rising concern over global growth and European debt.

It has been a choppy last few sessions on the FTSE 100 as uncertainty over the economic outlook has grown among investors.

That has been reflected in the FTSE volatility index <.VFTSE>, a crude guage of investor fear, which has spiked more than 70 percent since mid-March, when concern over Spain's debts started to grow.

There were further bearish signals as redemptions from UK equity funds reached a 35-week high last week, EPFR data showed.

We're back to the volatile days we saw before the central banks pumped money into the markets late last year. Investors are only in it for the short-term and are happy to buy the dips and sell the peaks, hence the choppy market conditions, Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets, said.

The FTSE has strong support around the 5,580 level where various technical levels including a trend line, a Fibonacci level and the 200-day moving average intersect, but traders said a convincing close through that level could spark a steeper correction with little support seen below there.

Miners <.FTNMX1770> rallied as brokers in their equity strategy notes said the sector offered value despite waning Chinese growth.

Citigroup upgraded mining and chemicals to overweight from neutral, saying it has looked to increase its beta exposure following a correction since the start of the year, and maintains its year-end target of 6,200 on the FTSE 100.

Rio Tinto was the top gainer in the sector, up 1.6 percent. The Telegraph reported the diamond industry could acquire another sparkler if private equity house KKR pulls off a plan to merge the gem operations of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.


Integrated Oils <.FTNX0530> bounced too, with the sector the worst performing cyclical on the FTSE in 2012, down 6 percent compared with a 12 percent gain in the banks and 2 percent rise in the miners.

JP Morgan raised energy stocks to overweight, saying earnings results are likely to be better in the first quarter given increasing oil prices and supportive seasonality. Its analysts like Shell and BP among UK-listed oil firms.

Charts show upside for the integrated oils is limited with the 200-day moving average around 8,246 providing a cap on recent rebounds.

Worries over China growth remain, with JP Morgan saying the latest batch of Chinese data again failed to dispel uncertainty over its growth path and policy response, while Credit Suisse forecast 8 percent Chinese GDP growth for 2012.

Among individual gainers, the market rewarded those companies able to achieve growth in austere conditions, with oil services firm Amec adding 0.8 percent as it said it was on track to meet full-year growth targets.

International Power rose 3.4 percent as French utility GDF Suez agreed to buy the 30 percent of the British power producer it does not already own for 6.8 billion pounds ($10.8 billion).

On the downside, banks <.FTNMX8350> fell as JP Morgan cut its stance on the sector to neutral, in line with its more cautious stance initiated three weeks ago.

Lloyds Banking Group was the top faller, down 2.4 percent on reports the Co-op is close to abandoning its 1.5 billion pound bid for 632 Lloyds bank branches.

M&A issues also clipped 1.8 percent off International Airlines' share price. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline is set to appeal against what it claims was Brussels' lightning speed approval last month of the contentious takeover of BMI British Midland by International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, according to reports.

There is no important economic data due out in the UK on Monday

(Written by David Brett; Editing by Catherine Evans)