END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares ended the day modestly higher, well off highs, with banks leading the main index ahead on the back of encouraging moves by the Governor of the Bank of England last night.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was up 11.76 points at 5,478.81 with the FTSE250 ahead 155.02 points at 10,729.65 and the FTSE Smallcaps 19.98 points better at 2,910.35.
US stocks were firmly higher in late morning trade with investors shrugging off a fall in consumer sentiment in the hope of seeing a clearer picture in Europe after the weekend's elections.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 66 points at 12,718, the S&P500 gained 8 points at 1,337 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 20 points at 2,857.
News that the BoE plans to create a sterling liquidity facility to aid banks, and plans to soon have a form of credit easing operating to boost lending in the UK economy, raising hopes of more QE, and giving the markets in London a welcome boost this morning. However, news from the ONS of a widening of the UK trade deficit and a slump in construction output dampened enthusiasm as the day progressed.
Banks led the blue chips higher, with Royal Bank of Scotland topping the leaderboard with a gain of 18.2p (7.9%) at 247.6p. Lloyds gained 1.55p at 31.3p and Barclays rose 8.05p at 200.8p.
Selected insurers followed the trend, with Standard Life ahead 0.5p at 219.9p, helped by an upgrade to hold from sell at Societe Generale. RSA rose 0.9p at 102.3p and Aviva climbed 3.9p at 268.5p.
Asset managers also improved, with Schroders up 26p at 1,269p, Hargreaves Lansdown ahead 6.4p at 487.6p and hedge fund firm Man Group 3.65p better at 72.8p.
Buoyant basic resources prices gave the miners a lift, with Vedanta Resources one of the best, up 57p at 960p. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto jumped 69p at 2,935p and BHP Billiton advanced 23.5p at 1,800p. Randgold Resources improved 85p at 5,970p as gold edged over $1,627 an ounce.
Oil producers reacted positively to a tick-up in crude prices, with Shell ahead 17.5p at 2,188.5p and BP up 6.8p at 423.5p.
Commercial property remained popular, with British Land up 6.5p at 493.4p and Land Securities 5p higher at 731.5p.
On the downside with blue chips, many retailers remained in the doldrums, with Marks & Spencer down 1.7p at 321.3p, Next off 15p at 3,095p and supermarket giant Tesco 4.15p lower at 301.1p.
The extravagant price of Premier League football rights continued to plague BSkyB, down 9.5p at 661.5p, while BT Group eased 0.5p at 201.2p.
Drinks giant Diageo slipped 11.5p at 1,587.5p on news it has acquired an additional 10.62% stake in Hanoi Liquor Joint Stock Company (Halico) in Vietnam for approximately £14m.
The cigarette makers lost ground as their safety stock status became redundant in the rising market, with Imperial Tobacco down 7p at 2,378p and BAT off 37p at 3,100.5p.
Temporary power provider Aggreko took the wooden spoon, slumping 94p at 2,066p, despite putting in a strong performance in the first half. Investors were concerned that sales may slow in the second half, despite the Olympics. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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