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UK stocks stage recovery on positive U.S. earnings

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LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Britain's top shares rose on Wednesday, led higher by banking stocks and miners, as a reassuring start to the U.S. earnings season reignited investors' appetite for equities.

The FTSE 100 was up 19.39 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,073.02 by 0810 GMT, resuming a rally which took it to its highest closing level since early February 2011 on Friday, having slipped on both Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Miners gained as investors welcomed news that Alcoa, the largest aluminium producer in the United States, posted in-line fourth-quarter earnings after the U.S. close on Tuesday and offered a positive outlook for 2013, though it kept a cautious tone as worries lingered over a looming U.S. budget confrontation.

Banks led the UK blue chips higher, with Lloyds Banking Group the best performer, up 1.5 percent as traders cited the impact of a UBS upgrade in rating to "buy" from "neutral" with an increased target price of 60 pence.

But J Sainsbury suffered early falls, off 0.3 percent, retreating after gains in the previous session as the supermarket chain issued a trading statement which prompted Seymour Pierce to cut its rating on the stock to "reduce".

(Reporting by Tricia Wright)

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