Britain's blue chip shares gained in early deals on Thursday, with Tesco leading the gainers after Christmas sales beat forecasts, and miners were supported by good data out of China.

At 10:07 SA time, the FTSE 100 index was up 8.33 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,106.98, after hitting its highest level since May 2008 in yesterday's session.

Miners added 0.4 percent as iron ore imports in China, the world's top metals consumer, hit a record high in December, and with Jefferies raising price targets across the sector.

Tesco rose 2.5 percent after it posted its highest sales growth in three years, showing signs that its turnaround strategy is beginning to show results.

But elsewhere on the high street, Marks & Spencer saw its sales disappoint, making it the biggest FTSE 100 faller, down 4.3 percent. - Reuters