THE FTSE 100 Index made a bullish start to the trading week today as mining stocks led the market higher.
The widespread gains for the heavyweight sector came after gold prices hit another new record, while gains overnight in Hong Kong and China added to the positive sentiment.
The blue-chip index was 85.9 points higher at 5337.3 in early trading - a gain of 1.6% - with only three Footsie stocks in negative territory.
Gold miner Randgold Resources was the biggest riser, helped almost 5% or 40.5p higher to 898.5p after the precious metal hit another new record of almost 1165 dollars an ounce.
The mining sector accounted for nine of the Footsie’s top 10 risers.
Daily Milk maker Cadbury meanwhile ticked up again to reach its highest level this year - up 14p to 814p - as hopes of a possible bidding war were fuelled by weekend reports.
In the FTSE 250, broadcaster ITV was 2.25p ahead to 54.5p after more speculation that new chairman Archie Norman would lead a clear-out of the board after its recent mishandling of top-level appointments as well as charging for some channels.
Fellow second tier stock Northumbrian Water eased 0.4p to 243.6p despite rising pre-tax profits as the company continued to be affected by rising business failures in the North-East.