Defensive stocks up on FTSE 100

The leading share index opened up this morning, helped by gains in defensive stocks. The markets have rallied since central banks took new stimulus measures to shore up the global economy, with the FTSE 100 up six per cent since late July.

Medical retinal imaging firm Optos added 7.18 per cent in early deals today, as it said that revenues for the year to 30 September are expected to exceed $190m (£118m).

Logistics firm Wincanton rose 4.56 per cent while aerial platform manufacturer Lavendon Group increased 3.66 per cent.

Premier Foods, which rose on the index last week, was up by more than four per cent in early deals.

On the back of a positive interim management statement on Friday, investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown added 2.95 per cent.

Exillon Energy and Petra Diamonds jumped 2.84 and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Miners were clustered on the loser board this morning. Finnish miner Talvivaara fell almost five per cent as it warned it may not make its 2012 nickel production target, while South Africa-focused Aquarius Platinum dropped 2.61 per cent.

Information management firm SDL dropped 7.34 per cent as it warned that it faced costs of up to $3m to settle an ongoing legal dispute.

Household products maker McBride dropped 3.65 per cent as it said it had been hit by a slowdown in contract manufacturing.

NMC Healthcare lost 3.28 per cent in early deals.

UK financial shares were a mixed bag this morning. HSBC was up by 0.39 per cent, RBS was down by 0.85 per cent, Barclays rose by 1.96 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group was up by 1.21 per cent this morning.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.51 per cent and in the US, the Dow Jones closed up 0.02 per cent.