The top shares rose on Monday, boosted by miners after policy easing by China, and supported by optimism over the prospects for Greece, as investors awaited confirmation of an improving outlook for the global economy.
Miners advanced <.FTNMX1770> after top metals consumer China cut the amount of cash banks must hold in their reserves, bolstering lending capacity as the world's second-biggest economy faces a fifth successive quarter of slowing growth.
Much of the newly available credit was seen financing infrastructure and capital investment, so fuelling demand for basic resources.
Britain's benchmark FTSE-100 share index was up 46.76 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,951.83 by 0955 GMT. The index is at seven-month highs, albeit in light trade, with U.S. markets closed for a holiday.
While uncertainty over Greece and its 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 market's become fairly used to delays. It's dragged on for long enough now, Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said.
The focus looks set to shift onto the economic picture in the wake of recent upbeat U.S. releases, with more positive data seen likely to further fuel a near 7 percent rally on the FTSE-100 so far in 2012.
Big releases this week include Germany's Ifo business climate index, and U.S. housing market data.
Greece seems to be a done deal and is pretty much priced in to this market, said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages $500 million of assets.
Attention can then finally get back on whether the pick-up in American activity is sustainable or whether the Chinese slow-down is worse than we hope.
Energy stocks <.FTNMX0530> rose as supply concerns hoisted Brent crude above $121 a barrel, after Iran halted exports to British and French companies ahead of a European Union embargo.
BP spearheaded the sector's advance, up 2.1 percent after a minority partner in the well which caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history agreed the first government settlement involving the doomed Macondo well.
Banks <.FTNMX8350> saw some 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
RBS added 2.4 percent while Lloyds was 2.2 percent firmer.
(Additional reporting by Sarah Young)
(Editing by Mark Potter)