Global markets were back on the front foot after upbeat economic data from China and Europe lifted sentiment after days of losses on worries over an end to US stimulus measures.
Figures showed increased factory output in China, the world's second biggest economy, while survey data pointed to an expansion in eurozone manufacturing and services sectors in August.
The economic cheer drove the FTSE 100 Index 56 points higher to 6446.9.
Markets were encouraged after Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale said the Bank may need to top up its £375 billion quantitative easing (QE) programme, while minutes of a US Federal Reserve meeting showed uncertainty on whether it would begin tapering of its stimulus measures in September or December.
In New York, the Dow Jones was up in early trading as it recovered some of the losses sustained in Thursday's session when initial reaction to the tapering talk had seen it fall more than 100 points.
On the currency markets, the pound slid on the prospect of more QE boosting the money supply, and was down a cent against the dollar at 1.56 US dollars, also falling a cent against the euro, to 1.17 euros.
European markets advanced strongly on data from the single currency data, with Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 both up by more than 1%.
A monthly composite purchasing managers' index for the 17-country single currency region, which includes both manufacturing and services, hit its highest level since June 2011 as the eurozone's recovery gathers pace.
Meanwhile better-than-expected Chinese data raised hopes the country's growth slowdown may be easing, with a manufacturing survey showing the sector swinging to growth from contraction a month earlier.
Strong car production figures in the UK likewise boosted sentiment, rising 7% year-on-year in July to 128,873.
In a quiet day for corporate news, credit card insurer CPP Group's shares plummeted by more than a quarter after the City regulator said the group and a raft of high street lenders will fork out up to £1.3 billion in compensation for mis-sold credit card and identity theft protection.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said 13 banks and credit card firms, together with CPP, have agreed to a compensation package that will see CPP contact around seven million customers directly.
Shares in CPP plunged by 27% or 5.5p to 14.8p, with the settlement coming after CPP was already fined £10.5 million for the mis-selling scandal.
Banking shares shrugged off the mis-selling compensation blow, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 8.9p to 343p and Lloyds Banking Group ahead 0.8p to 74.6p despite being listed among those due to offer redress.
Infrastructure group Costain was up more than 3% after reporting a 20% hike in its order book to an all time high of £2.9 billion.
Its shares were 9.25p higher to 290p despite interim pre-tax profits plunging to £3.1 million from £14.7 million.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were IMI, up 82p to 1491p, Fresnillo up 51p to 1215p, Wolseley climbing 136p to 3330p and RSA Insurance up 3.6p to 123.6p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Experian, down 14p to 1169p, Eurasian Natural Resources down 1.9p to 225.2p, Burberry off 12p at 1574p and Hargreaves Lansdown down 5p to 991.5p.