By Marcus Leach

After a poor end to 2011 the London Stock Exchange made a strong start to the new year, following on from good opening days for European markets.

The FTSE 100 index was up 72.05 points, 1.3%, at 5,644.33 in early trading, with Chinese manufacturing data boosting mining shares.

Of the mining firms in the FTSE 100 Rio Tinto and Kazakhmys were the biggest risers, up 4.1% and 4% respectively.

With retail companies set to announce their festive season figures over the coming week, their will be plenty of focus on shares there.

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