FTSE 100 higher as US stockmarket prepares to open

The large cap index was trading marginally higher this morning, led by an upswing in mining stocks thanks to an uptick of base metal prices. Following two days of closure, the US stockmarket is preparing to open today.

Airline group IAG was the top blue-chip riser this morning, while utility stocks and Barclays made up the large-cap losers.

On the FTSE All-Share, credit card insurer CPP Group added 28 per cent. It is currently in the midst of a regulatory probe.

Publisher Trinity Mirror rose more than eight per cent.

Miner Aquarius Platinum added 6.12 per cent in early deals, as it reported narrowing losses.

Oil and gas producers Essar Energy and Exillon rose 3.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

Dragging the index down was energy firm BG Group, which this morning said it did not expect production to grow this year.

International transport group Go-Ahead Group sank 2.5 per cent in early trading.

Retailer Mothercare fell 1.76 per cent, while distribution group J Menzies dropped 1.61 per cent.

Barclays fell four per cent, as it posted a £47m loss for the third quarter following increased payment protection insurance provision. Non-standard lender Provident Financial also weighed on the FTSE All-Share, losing 1.78 per cent.

Other UK banking shares had a good morning. HSBC rose 0.72 per cent, RBS increased 0.86 per cent while Lloyds Banking Group was flat.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.98 per cent up.