FTSE 100 rises as bank stocks rally – BBC News

This post was originally published on this site

The UK stock market was trading higher by Monday lunchtime with energy and financial sector shares providing support.

Energy shares were higher as oil prices climbed for the third session in a row. BP and Royal Dutch Shell were both up by about 0.7%.

News that Italy had reached a deal to bail out two banks lifted bank shares across Europe.

Among UK banks, Royal Bank of Scotland rose 1.7% while Barclays was up 1.6%.

On Sunday, Italy’s government said it was bailing out Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca at a cost of 5.2bn euros (£4.6bn; $5.8bn). Rome will also offer guarantees of up to 12bn euros for potential losses from bad and risky loans.

The banks’ “good” assets will be taken on by Intesa Sanpaolo banking group.

In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 share index was up 50.98 points at 7,475.11 shortly after midday.

Airlines were among the top risers on the index, with Easyjet up 2.3% and British Airways owner IAG 1.9% higher.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial fell 2% after RBC cut its rating on the firm to “sector perform” from “outperform”.

Shares in Provident had slumped by 17% last Wednesday after the company issued a profit warning.

In the FTSE 250, shares in outsourcing group Capita rose 2.8% after it announced it had sold its asset management services business to Link Group for £888m.

On the currency markets, the pound was 0.1% higher against the dollar at $1.2728, and up 0.2% against the euro at 1.1386 euros.