FTSE 100 up on stimulus hopes

The headline index opened higher this morning on hopes of fresh stimulus from China and the US.

The US Federal Reserve suggested last night that another round of stimulus could be likely if the economy doesn’t recover soon.

Headline mining shares led the index up, with Allied Gold Mining adding 4.33 per cent in early trading.

Aquarius Platinum rose by 3.8 per cent, despite fresh fears that strikes in South Africa – spurred by the Lonmin clashes – may halt production.

Randgold Resources and Evraz were also up 3.74 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

Engineering and construction group Costain was up by more than 4.5 per cent as investors were buoyed by news of an increase in first half profit.

Investors reacted positively to news of WH Smith’s £50m share buyback programme, sending shares 4.21 per cent higher in early trading.

Gold producer Petropavlovsk led the fallers this morning, down 11.41 per cent. It said today first-half profits plummeted by 90 per cent.

Electronics firm AZ Electronic slumped by 3.65 per cent on news of declining profit in the first half.

Meanwhile defence firm Chemring fell in early trading, as investors reconsidered takeover interest from private equity firm Carlyle Group.

UK banks had a good morning. HSBC was up 0.61 per cent, while Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays rose by 1.41 per cent and 1.33 per cent respectively. Only RBS was down, by 0.17 per cent.

Across the pond the Dow Jones dropped 0.32 per cent and in Asia the Nikkei closed up 0.51 per cent.