Monday, February 11 11:25:02
Britain's blue-chip index edged up today, supported by resilient banking shares after posting its first weekly loss this year last week.
Barclays rose 1.4 percent to account for a third of the index's rise in early trade, with the Financial Times reporting that the bank was seeking to cut spending by 2 billion pounds - a tenth of its annual cost base.
"The reported cuts are what is driving Barclays this morning. However, we've not seen the same positive movements in the credit or options market, where Barclays has performed much as any other large European bank," Simon Maughan, strategist at Olivetree Financial Group, said.
"Equity markets are all aflutter about (CEO Antony) Jenkins' presentation tomorrow, while credit and option markets expect nothing to change."
Financials - a broad based sector including banks, insurers and asset managers - added 8 points to the FTSE 100
The index was up 12.19 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,276.12, having fallen 1.3 percent last week.
The index has traded in a narrow 140 point range for the last 2-1/2 weeks and is still struggling to return to recently established four and a half year highs. Losses spurred by the return of concerns about Italy and Spain's fate in the euro zone debt crisis have hinted that a bull run at the start of 2013 - January was the strongest since 1989 - has run out of steam. (C ) Reuters