The FTSE 100 has ended the day slightly higher with a rise of 8.1 points, or 0.13%, to 6,319, as the banking sector benefited from positive broker comment.
Northern Rock ended the session 2.52% higher to £12.22, closely followed by Barclays which climbed 1.94% to 760.5p, while Royal Bank of Scotland Group added 1.87% to £20.74.
However cruise operator Carnival posted the biggest gains with a rise of 2.52% to £26.81, despite announcing it is to buy a new 116,000-ton ship worth around €535m, while insurer Prudential climbed 1.9% to 724.5p.
However miners continued their slump with Xstrata ending as the biggest drag on the index with a fall of 5.92% to 324.17, closely followed by Vedanta Resources which slipped 5.85% to £11.58, while Antofagasta dropped 5.43% to 488p, and Lonmin fell 3.94% to £29.75.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 106.87 points, or 0.86%, to 12,570.02, as the market reacted to yesterday’s strong gains in the international markets.
Wal-Mart is posting the biggest gains so far with a rise of 3.51% to $47.80, as it said like for like sales over the holiday period rose about 1.6%, while Home Depot is up 3.34% to $41.50 and Verizon Communications has gained 3.14% to $38.41.
Intel is also performing well with a rise of 2.72% to $20.80, closely followed by Merck which is up 2.52% to $44.70, although gains are being limited by McDonalds which is down 0.07% to $44.30.
Exxon Mobil is the biggest drag on the index with a fall of 2.56% to $74.67, closely followed by General Motors which has slipped 2.44% to $29.97, while AT&T is down 0.73% to $35.49 and Alcoa has fallen 0.67% to $29.81.IFAonline
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After 14-month FAS programme
More than half of people over the age of 55 see financial security as a top priority in retirement, yet a third allocate more time to buying a new car, research from Legal & General (L&G) has found.
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