The resources-heavy index breached the 8,000 mark at one point before closing 0.9% higher at 7,995.58, not far from its all-time closing peak of 8,014.31 set in February 2023.

The blue-chip benchmark earlier touched a session high of 8,044.98 - bringing it close to its intraday high of 8,047.06, also hit in February 2023.

Commodity-linked sectors such precious metal miners, industrial metal miners and energy jumped by between 3.1% and 4.6%, as gold prices hit a record and oil prices jumped by more than 2% on Middle East tensions. [GOL/] [O/R]

BP advanced 3.7% after Reuters reported the United Arab Emirates' state-owned oil company recently considered buying BP, though the deliberations did not progress beyond preliminary discussions.

Investors also took heart from data that showed Britain's gross domestic product expanded by 0.1% in monthly terms in February, as expected in a Reuters poll of economists, while January's reading was revised to show growth of 0.3%.

"These figures mean the UK economy is likely to have expanded in the first quarter overall, marking an end to recession," said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.

"That said, the levels of growth being displayed aren't very inspiring, particularly for our large services industry."

The data will allow the Bank of England (BoE) to feel comfortable about cutting interest rates in the second half of 2024, as it's looking for an economy that's strong enough to see growth holding up but not too strong to see inflation reaccelerate, said Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Traders currently expect the BoE to ease rates in August.

Gains in the FTSE 100 came even as sterling fell to a five-month low against the dollar.

Britain's mid-cap FTSE 250 index slipped 0.3%, with airline operator Wizz Air tumbling 8.2% on concerns about higher fuel costs.

Other airline stocks including EasyJet and British-Airways owner IAG fell 4.3% and 3.8%, respectively.

R&Q Insurance slumped 45.4% to a record low after the Bermuda-based insurer said it anticipates a significant annual pre-tax loss.

Petrofac tumbled 20.5% after the oilfield services provider said it remained in talks with lenders to restructure its debt in exchange for equity.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar, Pranav Kashyap and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and David Holmes)

By Sruthi Shankar