Gains in mining stocks nudge UK's FTSE higher
* FTSE edges up 0.2 pct, helped by gains in mining stocks
* Many traders still back December rally on stock market
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Britain's benchmark equity index edged up on Friday, supported by gains in mining stocks and expectations of a year-end rally that could see the UK stock market finish at a record high.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index inched up by 0.2 percent, or 16.03 points, at 6,670.50 points in early trading.
Miners dominated the FTSE's leaderboard, helped by a rise in the price of copper which enabled the FTSE 350 Mining Index to rise by 0.3 percent.
The FTSE 100 is down some 2 percent from highs of around 6,800 points reached in October and some 3 percent below a 13-year peak of 6,875.62 points hit in late May.
However, the FTSE remains up by 13 percent since the start of 2013, and several traders said they believed it would rally again in December and could touch the 7,000 point level by the end of the year, which would mark an all-time high for the index.
Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira Securities, said the FTSE 100 was also being supported by signs of a gradual recovery in the British economy.
British house prices rose at their fastest rate in more than three years this month, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Friday, just a day after the Bank of England announced steps to curb a possible overheating in the property market.
"The economy is showing some signs of a recovery, and the stock market trots on. We're going to test the magic 7,000 figure at some time," said Campbell-Gray.
Goldman Sachs' chief UK economist Kevin Daly also gave a positive assessment on the British economy, arguing that a recovery in the country's banking sector - which was hit hard in the 2008 financial crisis - would further support it.
"We expect the ongoing recovery in the UK's banking system to continue to support the revival in economic activity," he said.