FTSE 100 slips after touching highs last week

The main share index opened down this morning, as it retreated after touching six-month highs on Friday thanks to the US Federal Reserve's annoucement of unlimited stimulus.

Miners led the index down, as slowing growth in China forced base metal prices lower.

Ophir Energy lost 4.06 per cent in early trading, despite it announcing better-than-expected results from its drilling programme in West Africa.

Finnish miner Talvivaara fell 2.43 per cent and Evraz fell 2.18 per cent in early trade.

Financials also clustered in the fallers, with JP Morgan shedding 3.48 per cent, as it is understood the bank faces a US regulatory money laundering probe.

BlackRock and Impax Asian fell 2.71 and 2.18 per cent respectively.

A mixed bunch made up the early risers, with publishing services firm St Ives adding 7.21 per cent in early trade.

Courier company UK Mail Group rose 3.38 per cent.

Aquarius Platinum, which shut its operations in South Africa over the weekend amid unrest, was up just over three per cent.

Defence group Chemring added 2.43 per cent, as it announced on Friday an extension on the bid talks with private equity firm Carlyle Group.

UK banks were broadly flat during early deals. HSBC was up 0.02 per cent, Barclays down 0.35 per cent, RBS down 0.15 per cent, Lloyds Banking Group up 1.19 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei continued its rise and closed up 1.83 per cent, after a hitting a high last week on the Fed’s announcement of unlimited quantitative easing. In the US, the Dow Jones closed up 0.4 per cent.