Banks’ shares boost sees FTSE rise back over 6,000

THE FTSE jumped back above the psychologically-important 6,000 level yesterday, driven by rises in bank shares.

London’s main blue chip index rose by one per cent, up 57.7 points for the day, closing at 6,014.

Barclays shares rose 5.5 per cent, and HSBC by 2.4 per cent, as bank shares led the way.

A note from Citigroup upgrading HSBC helped the boost, and Societe Generale named the lender one of its preferred stocks in the European sector, upgrading it to “overweight.”

Traders shrugged off concerns over sovereign debt threats from the Eurozone after reports that Portugese minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said there was no plan for a bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The FTSE started the year on the up following an uptick in economic data from the US, and strong manufacturing growth in the UK.