Investor nerves calmed after the rout seen on Wednesday, when violent protests on the streets of Athens and Madrid fuelled fears over Europe and its ability to tackle the debt crisis.
The Footsie pulled out of the 1.6% slump the previous session to stand 11.3 points higher at 5779.4
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 50 points higher in early trading, while there were similar gains across Europe.
News that Britain's second quarter fall in gross domestic product was lower than feared - revised up to a fall of 0.4% - helped boost the pound, to 1.62 US dollars.
Sterling also rose to just under 1.26 euros as the single currency took another battering amid fears over the Spanish economy.
A rebound for mining stocks helped the London market, with Evraz 6.3p higher at 244.5p and Randgold Resources up 140p to 7475p.
Banks also recovered some of yesterday's heavy losses, with Barclays 3.6p higher at 217.25p and HSBC ahead 5.8p at 579.5p.
Basingstoke-based pharmaceuticals group Shire was another riser after broker Jefferies upped its price target on the stock to 2100p and said it saw an improved outlook for its drugs pipeline. Shares rose 10p to 1805p, a rise of 1%.
Security firm G4S was among the fallers amid reports that at least one of its executives will lose their job in the wake of an independent report into its failure to provide the 10,400 guards commissioned for the London Olympics.
With Goldman Sachs reducing its target price on the blue-chip stock, G4S shares closed 1.3p lower at 263.7p. Rival Serco also fell 2p to 583p.
Catering giant Compass declined 1%, even though it announced plans to address its struggling performance in southern Europe.
The drive to streamline its business in the economically-ravaged region was welcomed by analysts and came as Compass announced that trading in the fourth quarter of its financial year had been in line with expectations. Shares were initially higher before slipping to stand 7p lower at 704.5p.
Outside the top flight, shares in TUI Travel were higher after it said most of its summer programme was fully sold, keeping it on track to meet expectations for the financial year just about to end. With bookings for winter and next summer also showing improved trends, shares rose 2.9p to 233p.
Thomas Cook, which is due to publish a trading update tomorrow, rose 16p to 15.5p.
Domino's Pizza remained on the back foot in the FTSE 250, dropping another 9.5p to 531p after yesterday's summer trading update left analysts underwhelmed.
The biggest Footsie risers were Melrose up 6.5p to 245.7p, Evraz 6.3p higher at 244.5p, BAE Systems 7.6p ahead at 327.3p and Tate & Lyle up 15.5p to 670p.
The biggest Footsie fallers were International Consolidated Airlines Group down 2.4p at 151.5p, Pennon off 10p at 718.5p, Tesco 4.4p lower at 335.6p and Capital Shopping Centres down 3.4p to 328.9p.
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