European shares rise as FTSE 250 opens higher, with Home Retail's share price rising nearly three per cent

Emma Haslett
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Oil prices are expected to weigh on markets (Source: Getty)
he FTSE 100 started the day higher, edging up 0.6 per cent, before it dipped to 5,826 points at the end of the first hour of trading - 0.4 per cent up - despite a mixed performance on Asian markets.

The day's stellar performer was FTSE 250-listed Home Retail Group, whose shares rose 3.5 per cent to 159.2p. The company unveiled plans to return £200m to shareholders after it sealed a deal with Australian retailer Wesfarmers to sell its Homebase chain for £340m.

On the FTSE 100, Old Mutual led the risers, jumping 2.3 per cent to 155.2p, followed by Shire, which rose two per cent to 4,262p.

Fallers were, once again, led by miners including Fresnillo, Randgold Resources and Glencore.

"Markets [kicked] off the third week of 2016 on a far more bullish note than the first two... thus [shunning] the safe havens of gold and silver," said Michael van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"In short, investors just aren't worried enough to want to hold the traditional safe havens which is required if we are to see prices shoot higher. Confidence remains strong in central banks riding to the rescue."

Other European equities rose, with the German Dax rosing 0.64 per cent, while the French Cac rose 0.63 per cent.

Some Asian markets finished today's session sharply lower, with the Nikkei falling 0.5 per cent and the Hang Seng falling 1.5 per cent.

However, China's Shenzhen and Shanghai composite indexes both rose, finishing 1.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent higher respectively.

But oil is expected to be the week's watchword, after the lifting of trade sanctions against Iran over the weekend was expected to boost reserves in an already supply-heavy market. Both Brent and WTI crude fell below $29 over the weekend, and this morning they edged closer to $28.

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