The FTSE 100 share index rose early on Thursday. By 9:18 am the index had risen 0.6 per cent by 34.7 points to 5,758.9.

Banks were mixed with Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland down 0.5-3.8 per cent. HBOS, HSBC and Standard Chartered however rose 0.8-2.1 per cent.

Oil firms did well with BG Group up 0.3 per cent, BP up 1.6 per cent, Cairn Energy rising 0.7 per cent and Royal Dutch Shell up 0.9 per cent.

Miners also had a good start with Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Lonmin, Rio Tinto and Vedanta Resources up 0.2-2.3 per cent.

Retailers performed less well with Debenhams, Home Retail, Kingfisher, Marks & Spencer and Next down 2.7-6.7 per cent.

Housebuilders were mixed with Barratt Developments and Persimmon down 4.9-6.2 per cent. Redrow and Taylor Wimpey however saw their share values rise.

Other early losers included Carphone Warehouse down 18.8 per cent and SABMiller down 2.6 per cent.