Banks breathe new life into markets

Markets across Europe regained their footing today as moves by Eurozone chiefs to provide more liquidity buoyed banking stocks.

Five central banks yesterday released potentially unlimited dollar liquidity to breathe new life into flagging world markets.

A meeting today between US Treasury Secretary and European finance ministers to discuss leveraging the bloc's bailout fund was also being closely watch by investors who have been shunning riskier assets amid global economic uncertainty.

The pivotal issue of steering Greece away from a damaging default was top of the agenda as the Eurozone fights to repair its tarnished reputation.

Banks dominated the FTSE 100's table of top climbers with RBS and Barclays up more than four per cent with Lloyds rising 3.7 per cent.

That scene was mirrored across Europe with Societe Generale up 4.2 per cent and Deutsche Bank lifting by 4.5 per cent.

However UBS was set for another tough day of trading after reports that it would scale back its investment banking arm in the wake of the $2bn (£1.3bn) blow it had suffered from the dealings of an alleged rogue trader.

Despite this its share price was two per cent higher earlier today following a ten per cent slump yesterday.

In other sectors on London's blue chip index, broadcaster ITV was up three per cent while oil company BG Group nudged up by just over three per cent.

On the down side miner Fresnillo edged down by 1.4 per cent while Kazakhmys lost 0.5 per cent. Chip maker Arm Holdings fell 1.1 per cent with engineer IMI was off by around one per cent.

Asian markets were also boosted by the apparent stabilisation in Europe with Japan's Nikkei closing up 2.25 per cent while the Hang Seng put on 1.4 per cent.

In other market news it was reported that Manchester United has received permission from the Singapore Exchange for a planned $1bn (£633m) listing.