Britain's top share index rose to its highest levels in almost seven months on Monday, lifted by mining stocks after China's move to ease monetary policy prompted speculation of more demand for basic resources.

Growing expectations over the prospects for Greece lent support.

Miners <.FTNMX1770> added most points to the blue-chip index after China cut the amount of cash banks must hold in their reserves, and investors bet the resulting available credit would finance infrastructure and boost demand for basic resources.

While uncertainty over Greece's battle to secure a second bailout remained, the overall view was that a deal was priced into the market and should a decision be postponed beyond February 20, when euro zone finance ministers meet, investors would take this in their stride.

The focus looks set to shift to the broader economic picture in the wake of recent upbeat U.S. releases, with more positive data expected to propel the FTSE-100 further on from the near 7-percent rally it has notched up since the start of the year.

Big releases this week include Germany's Ifo business climate index, and U.S. housing market data.

Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth, described easing concerns over Greece, supportive U.S. economic data and the readiness of policymakers in emerging markets to act to maintain robust growth levels as a powerful mix of positivity.

Investors can once again focus on the fundamentals, which are very good corporate positions with undemanding valuations.

The UK benchmark <.FTSE> was up 45.65 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,950.72 by 1235 GMT, albeit in light trade, with U.S. markets closed for a holiday.

James Hyerczyk, technical analyst at Autochartist, was bullish about the FTSE 100, saying clarity over Greece may convince traders to attack the market with more conviction, giving it the push to reach its next objective at 5,981.30.

He said that while the index had shown a solid uptrend in 2012, the rallies had lately been short in terms of price and time, with many leading to big sell-offs.

Energy stocks <.FTNMX0530> rose as supply concerns fuelled oil price gains after Iran halted exports to British and French companies ahead of a European Union embargo.

BP rose 2.4 percent after a minority partner in the Macondo well, source of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, agreed the first government settlement of the affair.

Banks <.FTNMX8350> saw gains, mirroring strength on the wider market, although some brokers were cautious ahead of earnings news later in the week.

Nomura repeated its reduce rating on both Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group , due to report full-year results on Thursday and Friday respectively, arguing the shares were trading at the top end of their valuation ranges.

RBS added 3.2 percent while Lloyds rose 2.9 percent.

On the second tier, a broker downgrade weighed on Aveva , off 1.2 percent. UBS cut its recommendation on the software solutions firm to sell from neutral on valuation grounds.

(Editing by Sophie Walker)