FTSE edges up as Barclays chief quits

The FTSE 100 edged up in early trading to continue two sessions of strong gains fuelled by hopes that the Eurozone could avert collapse.

Significantly Barclays edged up slightly after chief executive Bob Diamond quit with immediate effect over the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Britain's third-largest bank also accepted the resignation of chairman Marcus Agius on Monday and said today the hunt was on for a new chief executive.

Miners led the blue chip index up with Vedanta lifting by 4.9 per cent, Kazakhmys 2.4 per cent and Rio Tinto 2.1 per cent. Another company in the sector, Antofagasta, edged up by 1.7 per cent.

The sector was helped by a jump in copper prices and a surprise rise in China's services sector Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

The only non miner in the top five climbers was insurer Aviva which put on just over two per cent. The company's stock is rising in anticipation of a company reorganisation.

In banking Barclays was up one per cent and Lloyds 0.1 per cent while RBS, down 0.9 per cent, bucked the trend.

On the down side Aberdeen Asset Management was the biggest loser, off by 2.5 per cent.

The fall came after Credit Suisse said it had sold its seven per cent stake in the fund manager.

Retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, was down by 1.5 per cent.

Defensive stocks Severn Trent and United Utilities dipped by around one per cent. Meanwhile broadcaster ITV was also off by around one per cent.

FTSE 250-listed house builder Persimmon was up by 0.4 per cent after it issued an upbeat trading statement.

However UK construction activity fell at its fastest pace since April 2009, a construction PMI report from Markit/Cips showed.

In Asia the Nikkei closed up 0.7 per cent and the Hang Seng 1.5 per cent.