A combination of stronger mining stocks and a rally by mobile phone giant Vodafone ensured the FTSE 100 Index tested its recent 21-month high today.

Vodafone topped the risers board - up 4.15p to 150.8p - amid speculation that it may be close to seeing a restoration of dividend payments at Verizon Wireless, the US mobile phone operator in which it owns a 45% stake.

With Asian markets higher overnight, the FTSE 100 Index climbed 16.5 points to 5719.6, leaving it near the 21-month high set on Thursday.

Among a clutch of mining stocks on the front foot, Xstrata lifted 27.5p to 1220.5p and Antofagasta cheered 16p to 1027p.

Outside the top flight, shares in ITV were more than 3% higher after Royal Bank of Scotland lifted its price target on the stock and said it believed the advertising cycle had turned. Shares lifted 2p to 60.7p.

The session also saw the debut of a major new company following the demerger of TalkTalk Telecom from Carphone Warehouse.

TalkTalk - the UK’s second biggest broadband firm behind BT with more than four million customers - is valued at around £1.1 billion after its shares were priced at 127p.

The split leaves Carphone Warehouse with its 50% stake in Best Buy Europe - its joint venture with the US consumer electronics giant - and a 47.5% stake in Virgin Mobile France. Carphone Warehouse has a market value of around £620 million following the shake-up.