FTSE 100 creeps up on improved Chinese data

The leading share index was broadly flat in early deals, edging up slightly after improved manufacturing data from China raised hopes for the global economy.

Of the blue chips, Bunzl and Johnson Matthey added 1.13 per cent and one per cent respectively this morning, while miner Xstrata topped the leader board, increasing 1.15 per cent.

Miner Centamin, which yesterday lost more than 45 per cent as it announced it was to suspend its operations at its flagship asset in Egypt, rebounded and added more than 26 per cent in early deals.

China’s positive flash manufacturing PMI boosted China-focused investment companies. JP Morgan Chinese Investment Trust, Henderson Asian Growth Trust and Fidelity Chinese Special Situations all rose on the FTSE All-Share.

Meanwhile, support services firm Interserve rose 3.7 per cent, while engineering company Lamprell added more than two per cent.

Miners dragged the FTSE 100 down, with Eurasian Natural Resources sinking more than 3.5 per cent in early trading. Global miner Anglo American also suffered.

Electrical component maker Volex plummeted 28 per cent on the FTSE All-Share this morning, as it issued a profit warning.

Elsewhere, the firms falling on the index were a mixed bag. Media company Centaur fell more than four per cent in early deals, while home shopping group Findel sank more than 4.5 per cent.

In a tough week for banking shares, HSBC fell 0.14 per cent, RBS added 0.37 per cent, Barclays rose 0.31 per cent while Lloyds Banking Group was down 0.67 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.05 per cent down while in the US the Dow Jones closed 0.56 per cent down.