Mining shares lead rally ignited by US fiscal cliff deal

After the US House passed a bill Tuesday undoing the scheduled tax increase for most households, markets have reacted in an exceptionally positive way.

The FTSE 100 index rose 139 points to 6,037 points, the first time it has been above the 6,000 level in 17 months, with mining shares leading the way.

Rio Tinto’s (LON:RIO) shares were up 186 points to 3697.5 p at 9:30 am ET, while Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) climbed 16.8 points to 300.8 p. Evraz (LON:EVR), the Russian steelmaker controlled by Chelsea own Roman Abramovich, was up 19 points at 277.90 p at 9:40 am ET.

The mining sector was also helped by data from China, a major consumer of commodities.

In terms of the UK market, this was also lifted by a survey of production and new orders in the manufacturing sector, which showed activity at a 15-month high in December.