The FTSE 100 closed up 14.5 points, or 0.24%, to 5,965.1, as miners dominated trading through the afternoon, keeping the FTSE out of trouble as Hanson gave back much of its earlier gains.
Hanson rallied at the start after the media reported the group is planning to split off its US building materials arm to insulate it from the threat of asbestos litigation, causing it to rose 0.8% to 747p.
This news earlier excited traders, as it was believed such a move could attract the attention of the likes of French rival Lafarge, but the shares had eased back a touch by the close of play.
Miners enjoyed chunky gains as metal prices improved, with Antofagasta adding 5.14% to 2,065p, Kazakhmys gaining 4.45% to 986p, and Anglo American well ahead with a rise of 2.4% to 2,047p. BHP Billiton added 3.98% to 980p, as it was buoyed by HSBC 'overweight' advice and a 1,200p target price.
Meanwhile, HBOS fell 2.05% to 980p, closely followed by Royal Sun Alliance which slipped 1.86% to 132p, after they started trading without the right to the latest payout.
And in the US this afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is flat at 11,153, as yields are still rebounding from yesterday’s slide and concerns over a possible interest rate rise.
Currently riding high, Du Pont is up 2.05% to $42.78, after it said it would cut around 1,500 jobs in its performance coatings business, mostly from Europe, as the company forecast one-time charges of up to $165m with further costs of up to $55m over the next year.
Caterpillar is also doing well with a rise of 1.4% to $72.95, while United Technologies is topping the loserboard with a fall of 0.84% to $57.82, closely followed by Home Depot, which has slipped 0.81% to $41.80.IFAonline
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