October 9, 2015 / 9:14 AM / in 3 years

Britain's FTSE rallies, set for biggest weekly gain since 2011

* FTSE 100 up 0.5 percent, set for biggest weekly gain since 2011

* Miners rally, Glencore rises on zinc production cut

* Investors cheered by dovish Fed minutes on Thurs

By Kit Rees

LONDON Oct 9 (Reuters) - UK shares were set to continue their October rally, with miners pushing Britain’s blue-chip index higher on the back of Thursday’s dovish minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Britain’s FTSE index was up 0.5 percent at 6,407.98 points at 0815 GMT, slightly underperforming European indexes but still set for its biggest weekly gain since 2011.

Miner Glencore topped the list of gainers, rising 4.6 percent after it said it would cut 500,000 tonnes of zinc production, or around 4 percent of global supply, in its latest move to withstand weak commodities prices.

“One of the problems that the mining sector’s had of late is that despite prices falling they’ve continued to ramp up output,” said Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct.

The cutback in zinc production follows a series of measures from Glencore, the world’s largest producer of zinc, aimed at cutting its $30 billion debt pile by a third.

As zinc prices surged, other metals prices also rallied, giving a boost to miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and BHP Billiton, up between 1.6 and 4.2 percent.

The FTSE 350 mining index was up 2.7 percent.

Analysts cited the minutes from the Fed’s September meeting as encouraging investors to get back into equities.

The minutes showed that the Fed had been deeply cautious of hiking rates even before subsequent economic data showed a sharp slowdown in hiring by U.S. employers.

“So dovish was the tenor of the minutes that I don’t even think a rate hike in 2015 is a serious option either, and indeed the market seems to agree with that,” Jeremy Batstone-Carr, analyst at Charles Stanley, said, adding that market pricing suggested that the first U.S. rate hike would only take place in March of next year. (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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