Markets: 29th December

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Markets: 29th December

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European shares finished at their best in 15 months, though holiday-affected trading was thin.

Britain’s top share index, the FTSE 100, closed at levels not seen since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in mid-September 2008.

Mining companies tracked firmer metal prices.

Copper hit a 15-month high, lifted by the threat of industrial action in one of the world’s top copper mines in Chile.

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Vedanta Resources, Eurasian Natural Resources and Antofagasta advanced

Banks, one of the best performers this year, were weaker.

HSBC, UBS, Barclays and Deutsche Bank all lost.

Oil was volatile, briefly rising above $79 a barrel, before slipping as the dollar strengthened against the euro.