A strong performance from banks including Barclays, Lloyds and RBS helped the FTSE hold steady on opening this morning at 3,925 points.
Shares in Barclays were boosted by reports this morning it has passed a stress test by the FSA to judge if it needs additional capital.
Insurers had a less promising start to the day with Prudential and Aviva both in the list of the bottom five performing stocks. Pru's share price fell 3.46% to 335p whilst Aviva saw a slump of 1.84% to 240.50p. Man Group too took a hit, down 2.40% to 213.75p.
However, the FTSE received a boost from the performance of US markets with the Dow closing up 174 points (2.25%) at 7,924. This was on the back of treasury secretary Timothy Geithner's proposals the White House be given far reaching powers to control the activity of American financial institutions.
His plans include creating a new regulator with a specific remit for stability in large financial companies and stricter capital requirements.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 slipped 9.36 or (0.1%) to close at 8,626.97.
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