FTSE registers big gain

London's blue chip share index rallied more than 2% ahead today, with banks leading the charge after UK savers saw the deposit guarantee upped to £50,000 (€64,218).

Hopes that the US House of Representatives would give America's 700bn (€505.5bn) bank bail-out the final thumbs up tonight added to the positive sentiment for Britain's banking sector.

The FTSE 100 Index soared 109.9 points to close at 4980.3, mirroring a similar early trade rise on the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street.

Lloyds TSB and its merger partner HBOS enjoyed a further session of double digit percentage gains, ahead 11% and 18% respectively.

Retailers including Tesco and Marks & Spencer were also in better shape, with hopes of an interest rate cut fuelling momentum in the sector.

But it was the banks that dominated the risers board after the Financial Services Authority said it was upping the savings guarantee limit from £35,000 (€44,952) to £50,000 (€64,218) from Tuesday next week. The British government had already signalled the increase was likely, but its timing was unexpected.

Lloyds rose 28.25p to 290.25p, while HBOS secured its place at the head of the risers board, up 30.4p at 200.5p. Barclays meanwhile added 30p to 368p and Royal Bank of Scotland lifted 10p to 186.2p, or 6%.

Marks & Spencer was also enjoying a second strong session after yesterday's better-than-expected trading update. The improvement of 12.25p to 239.5p came despite rival John Lewis reporting an 8.3% drop in department store sales for last week.

With more gloomy data about the service sector sparking hopes for an interest rate cut next week, Tesco's shares rose 22.4p to 415.7p, and Morrisons lifted 13.75p to 269p.

But Blacks Leisure added to the retail gloom by warning that half-year losses were expected to widen to around £4.5m (€5.7m). It blamed a poor summer for its boardwear business, causing shares to fall more than 13% or 12p to 77.5p.

Sports Direct International, which owns 29% of Blacks, fell 0.75p to 51p, a decline of 1%.

Meanwhile, shares in pubs chain Mitchells & Butlers remained under pressure in the wake of several gloomy outlooks for the trade. Shares were down 13.75p to 210.25p - a fall of 6%. Enterprise Inns also succumbed to the sector nerves, losing 10p to 169p.

With oil holding steady at US$94 a barrel, British Airways was the Footsie's biggest faller, down 12.7p to 165.4p.

The 7% fall also came as its September traffic update revealed that long haul premium figures had worsened and that there was now some risk surrounding its full-year revenue forecasts.

Oil prospectors like Cairn Energy were also on weaker ground, with the firm slipping 36p to 1854p.

It was a different story for mining stocks, which were enjoying a rare surge. Vedanta Resources was the lead advancer in the sector, rising by 12% - 107p to 1019p.

The biggest Footsie risers were HBOS up 30.4p at 200.5p, Vedanta Resources ahead 107p at 1019p, Eurasian Natural Resources up by 56.5p at 555p and Lloyds TSB up 28.25p at 290.25p.

The biggest Footsie fallers were British Airways down 12.7p at 165.4p, Inmarsat off 25.75p at 443.75p, International Power down 16.25p at 334p and Fresnillo down 12.5p at 280.75p.

More on this topic

EasyJet and Carnival to be knocked from Ftse-100 after Covid-19 hitsEasyJet and Carnival to be knocked from Ftse-100 after Covid-19 hits

FTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weighFTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weigh

FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017

FTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdownFTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdown

More in this Section

Ibec warns ‘conservative’ lifting of lockdown will prolong downturnIbec warns ‘conservative’ lifting of lockdown will prolong downturn

McDonald's opens the rest of its drive-thru restaurantsMcDonald's opens the rest of its drive-thru restaurants

National Lottery profits jump by almost €4 million due to increased salesNational Lottery profits jump by almost €4 million due to increased sales

Network 48 relaunches in Ireland with a fresh look and new plansNetwork 48 relaunches in Ireland with a fresh look and new plans


Lifestyle

Paula Burns talks to five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend. Born out of necessity, with a whole lot of invention - it's the couture face mask.Face masks: Five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend

Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Are we supposed to envy the gowls in Normal People?

Harpers from Cork and beyond have been making the most of online interaction, and a 240-strong ensemble will perform O’Carolan’s ‘Fanny Power’ this weekend, writes Pet O’Connell.Harps for Hope makes online connections to form 240-strong ensemble

A revamp of Disco Pigs may be on hold, but Corcadorca have developed a new socially-distant work for the residents of various housing estates around Cork, writes Marjorie Brennan.Disco Pigs on hold but Corcadorca to go live for Cork Midsummer

More From The Irish Examiner