Stocks edged up on Monday, led by mining stocks based on higher commodity prices. This is a bitty market, but mining stocks are a little up. It looks like a directionless day, a sales trader said.

Miners edged up after base metals rebounded on bargain hunting after sliding last week.

BHP BILLITON rose 0.7 percent after it said it had asked for government mediation to resolve a strike at Chile's Spence copper project. Other risers included Xstrata, up 0.5 percent and Kazakhmys, which was up 0.4 percent.

Oils rose after oil prices nudged higher for a second day. BP tacked on 0.4 percent. The oil giant on Sunday said it had launched a root and branch review of its global operations in response to a fatal explosion at its Texas City refinery last year.

At 07:35 GMT the FTSE Index was down 0.02 points, or 0.01 percent, at 5,876.5 points in a mainly directionless market. U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing near 2006 highs, as investors bet that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates next week following tamer August inflation data and the recent drop in crude oil prices.

Retailers were strong on positive broker comment. Retailer Marks & Spencer was up 0.6 percent after Deutsche Bank upped its target price.

Morrison Supermarkets was up 1 percent after being upgraded to buy from hold by Deutsche. The supermarket chain said Sunday it had withdrawn two rice products after an environmental group said they contained unauthorised genetically modified rice. Tesco 1 percent after being downgraded by Deutsche.

Banks were steady. Barclay's slipped 0.5 percent after Barclays Capital, its investment banking arm, said on Sunday its was counting on Asia revenue growth of at least 25 percent a year. HSBC was up 0.16 percent after positive broker comment. Water company AWG shares fell 1 percent. The company could agree to a takeover offer from a consortium that values the group at about 2.2 billion pounds, a source close to the matter said on Saturday.