Mining shares pulled the UK market higher as a stronger-than-expected Chinese manufacturing survey lifted metal prices.
Copper prices hit a near three-year high after China’s manufacturing growth picked up in August.
Antofagasta and Anglo American shares were both up by nearly 3%, and the FTSE 100 was 43.14 points higher at 7,408.40 shortly after midday.
In the FTSE 250, shares in Restaurant Group jumped 8% on signs of recovery.
The company – whose chains include Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s – said it had made “good progress” in its efforts to revive the business.
Measures have included changing menus and closing weaker restaurants, and the company said it had begun to see early signs of higher sales volumes.
Its comments came as it reported a drop in adjusted profits to £25.5m in the six months to 2 July from £36.6m last year, while like-for-like sales were down 2.2%.
Shares in online gambling firm 888 rose 4.8%, despite it being hit with a £7.8m penalty by the Gambling Commission over “serious failings” in how it handled vulnerable customers.
On the currency markets, the pound was down 0.5% against the dollar at $1.2865 and was 0.2% lower against the euro at 1.0859 euros.