The FTSE 100 was up 0.65% or 36.43 points to 5,630 early this morning as the rumoured RBS debt restructuring boosts financial stocks.
Bank shares led early gains on news RBS is considering a £10m debt buyback scheme and the implementation of new contingent capital notes, or CoCos. In addition, Close Brothers posted a 50% jump in pre-tax profits.
RBS rose 2.06% to 43.61p, while HSBC advanced 1.45% to 690.5p and Barclays added 1.20% to 352.8p.
Meanwhile, GS4 fell 1.97% to 273p after posting a decline in organic turnover. Other early morning losers include Segro, which is down 1.84% or 325.4p. Compass Group also dipped 0.74% to 498.3p.
In Japan, the Nikkei slipped 0.28% or 30.27 points to 10,721. Trading was muted as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of this week's monetary policy decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones edged up 0.16% or 17.46 points to 10,642 - as gains for financial stocks were offset by concerns over further credit tightening by China.
Banks bounced back after early losses following the publication of a revised financial regulation overhaul bill. However, most were down on the previous day's trading. Bank of America remained at $16.85, while JPMorgan Chase dipped 0.19% to $43.07.
Wall-Mart was the biggest gainer, up 2.82% to $55.42, after a Citigroup upgrade.
'Necessary steps' taken
Penalty payments and enforcement policy
Fees as low as 0.04%
Client procurement costs ‘unsustainable’
Only 9,486 applied for the benefit in 12 months