The FTSE 100 edged up in early trading, with Barclays topping the blue chip leader board.
The bank this morning unveiled new cost-cutting measures in a restructuring that will see it axe 3,700 jobs this year. It rose more than 2.5 per cent in early deals.
"Significant management changes have been implemented, a universal banking business model offers its own diversification attractions, whilst cyclical economic exposure and the lack of government ownership also appeal," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said this morning.
"For now, despite a 60 per cent plus gain in the share price over the last six months alone, the new chief executive looks to have done enough, with analyst opinion remaining positive in tone."
Other UK banking shares followed suit, and Lloyds Banking Group was up 1.33 per cent, HSBC rose 0.06 per cent and RBS added 1.91 per cent.
Oil shares enjoyed rises this morning, with JKX Oil & Gas and Fortune Oil rising 3.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively on the wider index.
Mining shares took the brunt of the falls this morning, with Russian precious metals miner Polymetal falling 1.15 per cent and Chilean miner Antofagasta down 1.06 per cent.
Oil services group Petrofac fell 0.86 per cent while defence services firm BAE Systems shed 1.7 per cent.
Outside of the blue chips, inter-dealer broker Icap fell almost four per cent. Last month it confirmed it was being investigated by the City watchdog over Libor setting.
In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 1.94 per cent and in the US, the Dow Jones closed down 0.16 per cent.