Miners and bouncing banks help the FTSE to another rally at the open after yesterday's early gains ebbed away in the afternoon. The FTSE 100 trades 0.6% higher at 6,176 as investors bid up prices in riskier sections of the market.
De Beers owner and diamonds-to-industrial metals miner Anglo American (AAL), up 75% year-to-date, adds another 3% to 522p followed closely by peers Rio Tinto (RIO), up 2.6% to £19.67, and BHP Billiton (BLT), which gains 2.5% to 746p.
Tentative gains in banks, after a heavy sell-off year-to-date, are also pushing the benchmark FTSE 100 index higher. Standard Chartered (STAN), RBS (RBS) and Barclays (BARC) lead the pack, up 2.0%, 1.4% and 1.3% respectively.
Defensives are on the back foot: utility stocks National Grid (NG.), SSE (SSE) and Severn Trent (SVT) are among a minority of FTSE 100 index constituents trading marginally in the red in morning trading.
Furniture chain DFS (DFS) slides more than 5% to 304.2p as private equity shareholder Advent International sells a big stake in the business at 300p. The 30 million share, £90 million sale represents 14.1% of the overall business.
Women's value fashion retailer Bonmarche (BON) slumps 10.1% to 169p on a disappointing fourth quarter update, where it warns taxable profits for the year to March 'will be at the lower end' of the £10.5 million-to-£12 million guidance given with December's earnings alert. Trading conditions have remained challenging in 2016, continued colder weather unhelpful in kick-starting demand for spring products, while Bonmarche also issues a cautious outlook for the current financial year.
Groceries-to-budget fashion giant Associated British Foods (ABF) edges 8p higher to £33.95 after agreeing to acquire its 48.65% minority interest in Illovo, Africa's largest sugar producer, for £262 million in cash.