It's been a good day for the FTSE 100, which finished 122.9 points higher at 5193.3. The bankin...
It's been a good day for the FTSE 100, which finished 122.9 points higher at 5193.3. The banking sector accounted for the lion's share of the index's gains but it was a decent day for the majority of stocks with 78 risers against 22 losers.
Abbey National prompted the enthusiasm for banking stocks after it said third-quarter pretax profit is 'comfortably ahead'' of last year's levels thanks to increased lending and cost cuts. The stock improved 23p to 1053p. Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBoS and HSBC all advanced 5%.
British Airways spearheaded the gainers amongst the FTSE 100 as its stock recovered 20p to 160p. The airline said it is in talks regarding the sale of its data management division, World Network Services.
BT also fared well with a rise of 25p to 368p. The group's shareholders approved the spin-off of its MMO2 mobile-phone unit today, which will create two listed businesses next month.
Over in the US trading was less inspired, at midday the Dow Jones was down 7.13 to 9369.9, the Standard & Poor's 500 eked out a gain of 0.75 to 1090.65 while the Nasdaq added 11.68 to 1719.76.
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