Markets made a hesitant start to the day, and the FTSE 100 edged up slightly in early trading.
News that Mark Cutifani has been appointed to the top job at global miner Anglo American stole the headlines this morning. He starts the role on 3 April and takes over from current head Cynthia Carroll. As a result, Anglo American shares were trading 2.25 per cent up in early deals.
On the blue chip index, Vodafone rose 2.69 per cent. The telecoms giant is currently faced with a $2.5bn (£1.6bn) tax demand from Indian authorities.
On the FTSE All-Share, UK support services firm Interserve added 3.5 per cent, as investors were cheered by its $41.3m takeover of an Omani oilfield services company yesterday.
Meanwhile, coal miner Bumi rose 2.56 per cent in early trading. Yesterday, the UK-listed owner of Indonesian coal mines granted co-founder Nat Rothschild’s request for a vote that could overhaul the board.
At the other end of the spectrum, African Barrick Gold sank more than 21 per cent on news that its parent, Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold, had ended talks over a sale to a Chinese national gold producer.
Debenhams fell 4.6 per cent, despite posting record Christmas sales this morning.
Holiday operator Tui Travel was the worst performing blue chip this morning, shedding 3.3 per cent, while leisure group Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn and Costa, fell 2.35 per cent.
UK banking shares were mainly in positive territory this morning, although HSBC fell 0.65 per cent. RBS rose 0.45 per cent, Barclays rose 1.17 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group was up 0.92 per cent in early deals.
In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 0.86 per cent while in the US, the Dow Jones closed down 0.38 per cent.