Banks fuel FTSE gains as investors eye US jobs data

Banks helped lift the FTSE 100 this morning as a concerted effort by central banks to trigger easier credit among lenders continued to bolster investor sentiment.

Despite grim manufacturing data from across the globe yesterday — and a bleak outlook given by Bank of England Governor Mervyn King — markets overall have responded positively to the banking strategy.

The next significant stage in the battle to steer the Eurozone away from collapse is a summit on 9 December in which France and Germany will hammer out plans for tighter budgetary controls across the bloc.

World stocks on the MSCI all-country index are up eight per cent this week.

On London's blue chip index RBS was up 4.2 per cent, Barclays 3.8 per cent and Lloyds 3.6 per cent.

The RBS rise came as the lender announced that it had sold its managed pub business to Heineken in a £422m deal.

The biggest climber was interdealer broker Icap which surged by 4.8 per cent.

Miner Vedanta also started on the front foot with a 3.5 per cent lift. Other miners also bounced back after a tough day yesterday.

Anglo American put on 2.4 per cent, Xstrata three per cent and Kazakhmys 2.8 per cent.

BHP Billiton was 3.3 per cent in early trading.

On the down side insurer Admiral was the only significant faller, falling 1.5 per cent.

In Asia the Nikkei closed up 0.5 per cent and the Hang Seng 0.2 per cent.

Meanwhile Honda said it is recalling 304,035 cars globally after finding the models were equipped with air bags that could burst due to faulty inflators.

Across the Atlantic later US non farms payroll data is due for release, widely seen as a benchmark for the state of the economic recovery in the country.