In the City, the FTSE 100 index has jumped by 40 points in early trading to 7321 – helped by a falling pound.
Gold maker Randgold are the biggest rise, up 1.7%, followed by packaging firm Bunzl.
Major exporters such as Rolls-Royce and AstraZeneca are also up, benefitting from sterling’s weakness. The pound has shed half a cent this morning, dropping back to $1.2425 (£1.00) ahead of today’s construction figures. However, the crisis in South Africa is pulling down companies with exposure to the country, such as insurer Old Mutual.
Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets warns, “South Africa’s Rand has taken another dive overnight after S&P cut the nation’s sovereign credit rating to ‘junk’ in light of recent political upheaval. Keep an eye on the likes of FTSE-listed Old Mutual, Investec and Mondi which are all exposed to the currency and have already been troubled of late as a consequence”.