FTSE 100 rises after Yellen speech

Trader in London Image copyright AFP

(Close): London's benchmark closed higher after Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen said the case for a rate rise in the US was "strengthening".

She was speaking at meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The FTSE 100 index, which for most of the morning was little changed, closed up 0.3%, or 21 points to 6,838.

Meanwhile, on the currency markets, the pound initially jumped on the news but then fell back to trade 0.12% lower against the dollar at $1.3176.

Against the euro, it rose 0.33% to €1.1728.

"In light of the continued solid performance of the labour market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months," Ms Yellen said.

She added: "Of course, our decisions always depend on the degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the Committee's outlook."

Mining shares were among the biggest risers after metal prices steadied, with zinc at a 15-month high.

Shares in Glencore rose 3.2%, as did Rio Tinto.

On the FTSE 250, shares in Restaurant Group rose 3.6% after it announced plans to close or sell 33 of its sites.

The group said its Frankie & Benny's chain had underperformed because of mistakes over menus and pricing.