FTSE holds firm above 6,000 level

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The FTSE 100 Index held firm, up 2.3 points to 6011.2, as banks and miners limited progress

London’s FTSE 100 Index held firm above the 6,000 level despite lacklustre trading after the Christmas holiday.

The Footsie clung to its opening mark, up 2.3 points to 6011.2, as banks and miners limited progress.

The top tier closed above the 6,000 level for the first time since June 2008 on Christmas Eve as thin trading volumes and a Santa rally helped blue chips move higher.

But a number of mining heavyweights were in the red after China’s move to raise interest rates by a quarter point on Christmas Day.

The hike was the second rise in just over two months as China stepped up its battle to curb soaring inflation.

Rio Tinto was the sector’s biggest faller, down 41p to 4532p, as it also revealed Australia’s heaviest rainfall for decades had impacted production at four of its mines in the country.

Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland was the top faller, down 0.8p to 39.9p, with sector counterpart Lloyds Banking Group not far behind, down 0.5p to 68.3p.

Oil prices remained near a 26-month high, helping energy giant Royal Dutch Shell to make gains.

Shell lifted 1%, or 19.5p to 2136p.

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