FTSE 100 flat despite Lonmin losses

Britain’s leading share index opened flat this morning, despite widening losses in mining shares, tracking a decline in the price of copper.

Beleaguered platinum producer Lonmin continued another day of losses, with the shares down more than 3.5 per cent. The mining company today issued an ultimatum to the striking workers.

Defence group Chemring was down more than six per cent in early trading, following strong gains at the end of last week on the news that it could be taken over by private equity firm Carlyle Group.

London-based Russian miner Petropavlovsk dropped more than 2.5 per cent.

Recruiter Robert Walters was also down in early trading, shedding 4.63 per cent.

Lloyds Banking Group led the risers, up almost 3 per cent. The rise comes despite news that the 40 per cent state owned bank will be hauled in front of US regulators for Libor fixing.

Other UK financials also rose in early trading, with the exception of HSBC, which was down 0.46 per cent. RBS was up 1.17 per cent and Barclays was up 2.05 per cent.

Insurance firm Amlin was up by 2.78 per cent, as investors reacted positively to news that it returned to profit in the first half of the year.

It was a good morning for housebuilder Bovis, which rose almost 2.5 per cent on the news that its first-half profits had doubled year on year.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.09 per cent up, while the Hang Seng was trading broadly flat.