LONDON -- The FTSE this morning has been cheered by the weekend's news of a massive euro-bailout of Spain's struggling banks. The plan to hand out up to 100 billion to Spanish banks crippled with debt has calmed supporters of the euro, and stock markets across the continent have responded with a welcome move upward, away from their longer-term decline.
The FTSE 100, as I write, is up 70 points to 5,506, a gain of 1.3%, with the German DAX and the French CAC-40 recovering even more. But which U.K. shares are leading the way?
Respite for the banks
Not surprisingly, banks that are rallying most strongly as fears they'll go down with the euro recede. Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG ) is the biggest early riser, with an early gain of 6.3% to just a fraction short of 30 pence -- in fact, it's up about 20% on a week ago.
The other taxpayer-owned bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS ) , isn't far behind with a 4.8% rise to 234 pence. Barclays is in bronze-medal position after gaining 4.5% to 199 pence.
Asset manager Schroders and insurer Aviva (NYSE: AV ) also benefited, putting on 3% in early trading to reach 1,271 pence and 280 pence, respectively.
A couple of nice risers
Among nonfinancials, Enterprise Inns continues its recent recovery with a 4.5% price rise to 65 pence. The firm announced a new 220 million pound banking facility on June 1, which has added confidence to the more-than-doubling of the share price since the start of the year.
Wolseley has turned in an impressive share-price performance of late, nearly doubling from an October low of 14 pounds to 26.60 pounds before dropping back a little. This morning, the shares are up 3% to 22.80 pounds.
Down at the bottom, there's really not much to report on this unusually bullish day, and the only real faller is Yell Group, which continues its slide as it struggles to make money by providing information in a highly competitive market. The shares lost 2.5% in morning trading, falling to 1.4 pence. They're down about 75% from a year ago.
Supermarkets dropped a penny or so, with Tesco (OTC: TSCDY) falling by 1.4 pence to 302 pence, following reports that the supermarket has seen its quarterly sales fall, and J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY.L ) dropping 1 pence to 289 pence. Similarly, United Utilities had 3.5 pence shaved off its price to reach 677 pence. But that's all just noise, really, and we should enjoy a rare positive day for U.K. shares.
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