Miners boost stocks in thin holiday trading

The rise in the price of copper hit a three-year high on Wednesday, helping lift mining stocks

London shares pushed upwards in thin holiday season trading on Wednesday, boosted by a rise in commodity prices following a slight lift in Asian markets.

London's FTSE 100 index managed a 0.2 percent gain to 7,606.73 points in late morning trading after a four-day break in trading, holding near to a record high.

Meanwhile in the eurozone, both Frankfurt's DAX 30 and the CAC 40 in Paris were up less than 0.1 percent.

"A thin volume trading is a general theme across the markets," said Naeem Aslam, analyst at Think Markets UK.

"Most traders are away on their holiday and we do not expect much action in the markets, however, the general portfolio rebalancing trade would be the most common feature between now and the end of this year."

London's top seven performers were all miners, with Fresnillo leading the pack with a two percent rise as copper prices hit a three-year high.

Asian markets earlier edged upward as fears over lacklustre iPhone demand eased and commodities rose.

Shares in Apple -- the biggest US company by market capitalisation -- and its Asian suppliers had slumped Tuesday after a report in Taiwan's Economic Daily warned of weak demand for the iPhone X.

But that slide was arrested, with analysts suggesting media reports of supplier order cuts were "confusing the market".

Shares in Taiwan-based Apple suppliers Hon Hai Precision Tech -- better known as Foxconn -- and Catcher Technology rose Wednesday.

Tokyo and Hong Kong both rose by 0.1 percent while Taipei added 0.6 percent.

Seoul gained 0.4 percent after the announcement of a new policy aimed at encouraging trades on the junior tech-heavy Kosdaq market bolstered overall investor sentiment.

But positive news was dampened by record losses at Hyundai Heavy -- the world's largest shipbuilder by sales -- which lost more than a quarter of its share value after announcing a plan to issue new stocks to shore up its ailing finances.

Shanghai fell 0.9 percent, dragged down by heavyweight financial and consumer liquor shares.

On the currency markets, the euro rose slightly against the dollar on Wednesday in a sluggish market, stabilising after losses last week triggered by regional elections in Catalonia, where pro-independence parties won a slim majority.

The pound fell against most currencies, weighed down by disappointing Boxing Day retail sales, which could soften overall growth figures.

Elsewhere, oil-linked shares were boosted by crude prices that remained close to two-year highs.

Oil prices in New York had jumped to a two-and-a-half year high Tuesday and briefly topped $60 a barrel due to a Libyan pipeline explosion and frigid weather in the US, before easing Wednesday.

- Key figures around 1100 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,606.73 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.08 percent at 13,082.67

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.09 percent at 5,369.46

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.03 percent at 3,554.35

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 22,911.21 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 29,597.66 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,275.78 (close)

New York - DOW: FLAT at 24,746.21 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1891 from $1.1864

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3417 from $1.3374

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.25 yen from 113.19 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 40 cents at $59.57 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN $1.17 at $65.68