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UK: FTSE 100 steadies after bank rescue

11:30 04 August 2014

Bank of Portugal governor Carlos Costa speaks at the Bank of Portugal headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Portuguese authorities provided  4.9 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in an emergency rescue to prevent the collapse of ailing bank Banco Espirito Santo, one of the eurozone country

Bank of Portugal governor Carlos Costa speaks at the Bank of Portugal headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Portuguese authorities provided 4.9 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in an emergency rescue to prevent the collapse of ailing bank Banco Espirito Santo, one of the eurozone country's oldest and biggest financial institutions.

A rescue of Portugal’s troubled lender Banco Espirito Santo ensured markets steadied today after the turmoil for investors at the end of last week.

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The group will be lent 4.9 billion euros (£3.9 billion) from the country’s bailout fund, with its assets split into separate good and bad bank operations.

The resolution helped shore up confidence after a turbulent few sessions in which political and economic events triggered a correction for world markets.

The FTSE 100 Index was 17.5 points higher at 6696.5, having slumped by as much as 100 points on Friday before US jobs data ensured the top flight finished down by a more respectable 50 points.

The Portuguese rescue ensured banking stocks were on a firmer footing, with Lloyds Banking Group up 0.5p to 73.8p and Royal Bank of Scotland unchanged at 349.7p. Risk-driven stocks were on the front foot with commodities giant Glencore up 4.3p to 360.5p and Rio Tinto up 26.25p to 3380.75p.

In corporate news, shares in insurer esure were 1% higher after it posted a “solid” set of half-year results, with pre-tax profits up 0.4% to £57.1 million despite the impact of downward pressure on car insurance premiums. The stock lifted 1.8p to 259p.

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