FTSE 100 edges up as investors bide time before US election

The leading share index was up this morning on a wave of corporate earnings releases, although trading was expected to be subdued as investors bided time before the closely-fought US election today.

G4S and Marks & Spencer were risers on the FTSE 100 this morning, as they released positive trading updates.

On the FTSE All-Share, Metric Property topped the leaderboard in early deals and rose 12.90 per cent. This morning it announced that it is to merge with fellow property investor London & Stamford.

Semiconductor firm Arm Holdings rose more than four per cent, as it said it had joined a consortium to acquire the portfolio of another chip maker.

Engineering firm Costain added 3.78 per cent, as it said it remained on course to deliver full-year results in line with expectations.

Retailer JD Sports jumped 3.48 per cent in early deals.

Dragging the index down was a mixed bag of companies. Construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall sank 7.65 per cent, as it warned on 2012 trading levels.

Finnish miner Talvivaara fell 4.55 per cent. Yesterday it said it was forced to shut a metals plant due to a waste water leak at its Sotkamo site.

Defence services company Babcock dropped 3.5 per cent, despite it posting a 13 per cent rise in first half profit this morning.

Also clustered in the fallers this morning was Darty, CPP Group and Kofax.

UK banking shares had a mixed morning. HSBC fell 0.06 per cent, RBS jumped 1.01 per cent, Barclays soared 1.21 per cent while Lloyds Banking Group dropped 0.36 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 0.36 per cent, while in the US the Dow Jones closed up 0.15 per cent.