FTSE 100 buoyed by mining and financial shares

The blue chip index opened up this morning, with strong gains in heavyweight mining shares and UK financials leading the risers.

Heritage Oil was up by almost 13 per cent in early trading, as investors were buoyed by news that it is to sell part of its holding in a gas block in Iraq for $450m (£285m) to Genel Energy.

Aquarius Platinum was also an early riser, up by 4.34 per cent, despite the platinum firm recently announcing it was to lay off 2,000 workers at its Everest Mine in South Africa.

Ferrexpo added more than three per cent in early trading, despite negative first-half results that were released this morning. The iron ore producer reported that core profit fell by 40 per cent in the first half, hurt by higher costs and weaker prices.

Outside of the miners, consumer publishing group Mecom Group was trading almost seven per cent up.

UK financials helped to buoy the index in early trading. HSBC was up by 0.67 per cent, RBS up by a more substantial 2.03 per cent, Lloyds Banking Group up 0.47 per cent and Barclays up by 2.84 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, Severfield was an early faller, down 9.25 per cent, as it revealed it is to merge three of its UK steel businesses to cut costs.

Housebuilder Persimmon shed more than three per cent in early trading, despite a buoyant first half of the year. Profits rose by 63 per cent in the six months to the end of June.

International life assistance company CPP Group fell by 7.54 per cent thanks to a first half profit drop of 24 per cent that it reported today.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed broadly flat at 9,156.92, while in the US the Dow Jones also closed flat yesterday at 0.03 per cent down.