Mining and financial shares led the way as the FTSE 100 surged to an 18 month high, helped by a return of investors’ appetite for risk, hopes for a solution to Greece’s debt problems and better than expected US jobless figures. In particular Xstrata added 62.5p to £11.87 after it agreed to sell the Prodeco coal operations in Colombia to Swiss commodity trader Glencore for around $2.5bn. Glencore – which owns 34.4% of Xstrata – had pledged Prodeco as part of Xstrata’s $5.9bn rights issue last year, rather than putting up the cash. But it had an option to buy back the mines within twelve months, an option which ran out this week and which it has now exercised. (Also mentions Lonmin, Rio Tinto and Caledon Resources.)