FTSE up more than 50 points

London's FTSE 100 Index enjoyed a bright start to the week today after nerves were soothed by Abu Dhabi's £6bn (€6.7bn) bail-out of debt-laden neighbour Dubai.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi's rescue cash to help Dubai pay debts owed by its struggling Dubai World conglomerate helped financial stocks gain ground after previous fears over their exposure to heavy losses in the region.

The London market closed 1% or 53.8 points higher at 5315.3, led by the London Stock Exchange - which is nearly 21% owed by Dubai State-owned company Borse Dubai.

As concerns over a potential enforced fire-sale of the stake receded, LSE was the biggest riser in the top flight with a 10% gain of 69p to 763.5p.

Banks also rallied on relief over Dubai after losing ground since the emirate's debt crisis emerged.

Standard Chartered followed LSE higher - rising 65.5p to 1575p or 4% - while HSBC lifted 16.5p to 719.9p and Barclays gained 3.65p to 291.65p.

Lloyds Banking Group offered a further boost to the sector after it revealed 95% take-up for its £13.5bn (€15bn) rights issue and later said the remainder of the shares had been snapped up in the open market, although its shares closed 1.06p down to 55.16p.

Meanwhile, a robust defence from Cadbury to its US suitor's hostile bid put the chocolate giant in the spotlight.

Shares rose 4.5p to 795p after the confectionery firm replied to Kraft's hostile £10bn (€11.1bn) offer by upping long-term performance targets and urging investors not to let the US giant buy the Dairy Milk maker "on the cheap".

Leisure group Whitbread was another strong riser after "outstanding" trading at its coffee business Costa and a revival at Premier Inn led it to forecast profits ahead of City hopes. Shares gained almost 4%, or 50p to 1380p.

But British Airways was on the list of share fallers, down 0.3p at 201p, after it said its pension deficit had grown 76% to £3.7bn (€4.11bn) over the last three years. The group also faces severe disruption from 12 days of strikes over the busy Christmas period after trade union Unite voted overwhelming for industrial action.

Outside the top flight, shares in outsourcing firm Mouchel surged 26%, or 49p to 239p, after it said it had rejected takeover interest. The party involved, fellow services firm VT Group, saw its shares fall 15.5p to 526p.

Another firm in the takeover spotlight, waste disposal group Shanks, was 5.2p higher at 135.2p as the stock crept closer to the 150p level suggested as a suitable bid price by its board. The company is being courted by a private equity firm.

The biggest Footsie risers were LSE up 69p at 763.5p, Standard Chartered up 65.5p at 1575p, Whitbread up 50p at 1380p and Lonmin up 66p at 1830p.

The biggest Footsie fallers were Rexam down 6.9p at 279.1p, Lloyds down 1.06p at 55.16p, Wolseley off 21p at 1216p and Hammerson, which finished 4.8p lower at 380p.

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