FTSE lifted by banks and commodities as investor fears over Eurozone recede

BANKS and commodity-linked stocks pushed Britain’s top share index higher yesterday, with risk appetite returning among investors as Eurozone debt fears ebbed, and Man Group recouping the previous session’s losses.

The FTSE 100 ended up 44.80 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 5,307.34, but after retreating from an earlier session high of 5,341.41.

“Any move higher at the moment will be tough to sustain as the market waits nervously for yet more bad news out of Europe,” said Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets.

“We will likely see any gains short lived as traders take profit on small rallies.”

The index is nine per cent off its 2010 high, which it hit in mid-April, and down 1.9 per cent on the year as investors have fretted over Eurozone debt contagion and its potential to stunt growth.

Banks, which have been hit over their possible exposure to Europe’s debt problems, were big gainers -- providing a measure of the market’s enthusiasm for risk.

Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group rose 0.2 to 1.5 per cent.

Investor indecision was summed up as hedge-fund firm Man Group gained more than 9 per cent, recovering all of Monday’s sharp falls as the market mulled over its purchase of US rival GLG Partners.

ICAP rose 5 per cent after Panmure Gordon upgraded its recommendation and estimates on the world’s biggest interdealer broker ahead of full-year results today.

Real estate firm Land Securities, energy company Scottish & Southern Energy, credit check agency Experian and mid-cap pubs group Mitchells & Butlers rose 1.2 to 3.1 per cent.