FTSE 100 firmly up on Glenstrata deal

Banks and miners led the blue chip index up in early trading, as the £56bn mining mega-merger of Xstrata and Glencore stole the headlines.

Better-than-expected results from the Spanish bank stress tests boosted UK financial shares.

Barclays was up 2.89 per cent in early trading, followed by RBS, which added 2.06 per cent. HSBC was up 1.75 per cent, although Lloyds Banking Group dropped 2.35 per cent.

Property investment company Invista European topped the leaderboard this morning, adding almost 10 per cent as it announced it has appointed a new director for the company.

Producer New World Resources added almost three per cent, while construction service provider Wolseley jumped 2.95 per cent as it prepared to release its annual results this week.

Following a positive trading update last week, holiday company Thomas Cook was up 4.29 per cent in early deals.

Insurer CPP Group continued its downward slide this morning, falling 23.55 per cent.

Medical technology firm Optos dropped 3.81 per cent, while car retail network Pendragon fell 3.45 per cent.

Embattled miner Bumi dropped 2.47 per cent, continuing its share price freefall. A week ago it announced it was to investigate its Indonesian arm for alleged financial irregularities. India-focused Hardy Oil also slipped 2.44 per cent.

Media group Centaur and courier firm Stobart fell on the FTSE All-Share this morning, shedding 1.63 per cent and 1.61 per cent respectively.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 0.83 per cent and in the US, the Dow Jones closed down 0.36 per cent, as gloomy manufacturing data from China made its presence felt.