FTSE 100 edges up on US stimulus hopes

The blue chip index ticked slightly higher in early deals this morning, staying above the important 5,900 level, underpinned by expectations of more stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve at a meeting later today.

Anglo American pushed up the index in early trading. The miner added more than 1.5 per cent on the back of news that it and Rio Tinto had offloaded their stake in South Africa copper producer Palabora.

Insurers Admiral and Resolution also topped the blue chip leaderboard.

Meanwhile on the FTSE All-Share, inkjet technology group Xaar rose 9.47 per cent in early deals, as investors reacted positively to a trading update.

And at the other end of the spectrum, explorer Tullow Oil, which closed down more than eight per cent last night, sank another 2.35 per cent in early deals. Yesterday it announced it was to acquire a Norwegian oil explorer for up to £418m, as well as exiting its UK North Sea gas operations.

Chip designer Imagination Technologies fell more than seven per cent in early deals, despite this morning posting a 10 per cent rise in first-half profit.

SuperGroup, which owns the Superdry fashion brand, fell more than 5.5 per cent in early trading. In its interim results this morning, it reported a 13 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profit.

Holiday company Thomas Cook and pub group Punch Taverns were down 5.2 per cent and 3.08 per cent respectively in early deals.

UK banking shares were a mixed bag this morning. HSBC was 0.22 per cent lower, RBS was up 0.59 per cent, Barclays rose 0.58 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group sank 0.99 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.59 per cent up while in the US, the Dow Jones closed up 0.6 per cent.