FTSE 100 opens flat as investors bide time

The leading share index opened modestly lower this morning, as investors were cautious ahead of key Eurozone and US Federal Reserve meetings this week.

A selection of miners and retailers led the index up. Specialist engineering company Lamprell added nearly five per cent in early deals on news that it signed a joint venture deal in Saudi Arabia.

Miner Vedanta rose 3.95 per cent. It confirmed last week it was to close its embattled Lanjigarh refinery in India.

Takeover target Xstrata rose 2.91 per cent as investors reacted positively to Glencore’s increased merger offer.

Elsewhere, Marks & Spencer and Dunelm rose 2.85 and 2.68 per cent respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, this morning’s fallers were a mixed bag.

Car network Pendragon fell again this morning, down five per cent in early trading, while home shopping ground Findel, which enjoyed a continuous share price rise a few weeks ago, fell by 3.66 per cent.

Technology firm Laird fell by just over three per cent, while distribution firm John Menzies was down 2.38 per cent, despite posting impressive profit growth last month.

Brewer Marston’s shed 1.82 per cent as investors reacted negatively to its announcement that its chief operating officer departed for rival Mitchells & Butlers.

Meanwhile, UK banks had a mixed morning. In early trading HSBC was down 0.44 per cent, Barclays added 0.44 per cent, Lloyds Banking Group rose 2.63 per cent and RBS was up 0.33 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed relatively flat at 0.03 per cent down, while in the US on Friday the Dow Jones closed up 0.11 per cent.