The FTSE 100 Index bounced back today, rising 83.6 points to 5,350 as shares recovered some of the heavy losses seen on Wednesday.
Investors were reassured by comments from European Union president Herman Van Rompuy, who insisted Greece must remain part of the single currency and respect its commitments to austerity.
London’s gains came as official figures showed the UK’s double-dip recession to be deeper than previously thought, with the economy shrinking by 0.3% in the first quarter.
The mining sector proved popular among investors amid rising metal prices, with Vedanta Resources gaining 5%, or 48p to 999.5p, Fresnillo 35p higher at £13.47 and BHP Billiton advancing 37.5p to 1718.5p.
Randgold Resources was the biggest riser as economic uncertainty pushed the price of safe-haven gold up to around £1,000 an ounce at one stage. Shares in Randgold lifted £3.83 to £51.70, a rise of 8%.
The banking sector also recovered, with Barclays up 4.8p to 185.3p, Royal Bank of Scotland 0.4p higher at 21.4p and Lloyds Banking Group ahead 0.4p at 26.9p.
Other big gainers included Prudential up 22.5p at £6.86 and BP ahead 13.1p at £4.07.
The Footsie’s biggest fallers were Rexam down 5.3p at 393.9p, Aberdeen Asset Management off 2.9p at 238.4p, IMI down 10.5p to £8.94 and Hargreaves Lansdown off 3.2p at 466.1p.
Outside the top flight, Thomas Cook was 16%, or 3p higher 21.25p after it appointed Premier Farnell chief executive Harriet Green as its new boss.
Mothercare, was also enjoying a bounce back – up 23%, or 38.8p to 203.25p – after new chief executive Simon Calver outlined his strategy for reviving the parenting retail business.
Online fashion retailer ASOS was 8%, or £1.33 higher at £16.44 after it nearly doubled its profits to £30.3million in the year to March 31.
Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, highlighted Faroe Petroleum up 1.5% at 157.375p, Centrica gaining 2% to 313.9p and Amec 2.5% higher at £10.00.