HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland continued to recover lost ground today as the FTSE steadied after the global moves to tackle the financial crisis.
The FTSE 100 Index rose more than 100 points at one stage before settling 62.9 points higher at 4429.6 by mid-morning. It tumbled 5% yesterday during the latest bout of turmoil, but upward momentum was provided by overnight gains for Asian markets including Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which rose more than 3%.
HBOS was the top riser, up 30%, 151.2p (192.1c), with its proposed merger partner Lloyds TSB up 20.5p (25.9c) to 230.5p (291.2c).
NatWest owner RBS cheered more than 15%, up . But Barclays, which fell heavily yesterday, was still on the back foot, down 15.75p (19.9c) to 262.5p (331.7c).
Elsewhere, FTSE 250 Index retailer WH Smith was up 8% after a 15% hike in underlying profits was accompanied by a resilient note on current trading. Shares rose 23.5p (29.7c) to 343.5p (434c), a gain of 7%.
But shares in convenience food chain Greggs were 6% or 200p (252.7c) lower at 3226p (4076.5) after cutting full year profit forecasts by £3m (€3.79m).