The FTSE 100 index opened higher on Wednesday, led by miners and after an unexpectedly big jump in consumer confidence in the U.S. on Tuesday, which pushed the Dow Jones index to its second highest close ever.

U.S. indices pushed higher after the Europe close with the Dow having its second highest ever close, said Martin Slaney, head of spread betting at GFT Global Markets.

Better than expected consumer confidence figures were the catalyst. Further benign economic data this week, including more home sales data from the U.S. today, should keep the markets on track for further gains.

Mining was the leading sector, with Xstrata topping the FTSE 100 leaderboard by rising 3.3 percent. Rio Tinto rose 2.5 percent, BHP Billiton 2.4 percent and Lonmin gained 2.1 percent. Copper miner Kazakhmys rose 3 percent after the company said its outgoing chief executive Y.K. Cha would place up to 4 percent of the company shares and sell approximately 7.1 percent shares to chairman Vladimir Kim.

Miners had a good shove the last few days, and I think there's been a little bit of a pick up in Australian trading today, a combination of that, said one trader.

They've had a bit of a dodgy quarter, and an element of puffing the sector up to sort of make things look good more telling will be to see how the sector looks half way through next week. This will be much more of a telling point because then we'll be into a new quarter.

Steelmaker Corus also rose 1.3 percent.

By 0834 GMT (9:34 a.m. British time), the FTSE was up 33.7 points, or 0.6 percent, at 5,907.3 points.

Hanson, the world's largest supplier of sand and gravel for the construction industry, added 1.4 percent, extending gains of the last two sessions after bid talk persisted on Tuesday.

Oil held above $61 as dealers balanced an expected swelling in robust U.S. winter fuel inventories against a warning from producer cartel OPEC that it may take action to stabilise tumbling prices.

Insurer Standard Life led the losers, dropping 2.3 percent after posting a first half operating profit below analyst forecasts, hit by an increase in provisions for customers cashing in policies, but said it was on track to meet its targets.

Caterer Compass fell 1 percent after saying trading was in line with its expectations for the year to end September, but it expects to see a lower level of overall revenue growth in the near term.