The London market closed higher today amid hopes two of the eurozone’s struggling members would receive bailouts later this week.
The FTSE 100 Index closed 12.3 points higher at 5,805.6 as investors looked ahead to a week in which Greece is expected to agree on £10.8billion of spending cuts to allow the next bailout payment to be signed off, while Spain may also request a bailout.
Royal Bank of Scotland dominated much of the focus on the market however, as analysts warned over the impact of its collapsed £1.65billion branch sale with Santander. The 80% state-owned lender fell 1% or 2.8p to 268.1p.
Other banking shares fared well however, with Barclays adding 2% or 4.7p to 236.9p, Lloyds Banking Group rising 0.6p to 40.3p and HSBC advancing 5p to 600.3p.
Mining stocks populated the top of the fallers board with Kazakhmys down 25.5p at 690p and Anglo American off 36p at 1,788.5p.
Transport firm FirstGroup fell another 3% after the UK Government announced Virgin had been asked to continue running the troubled West Coast Main Line for another few months. Shares were down 6.1p to 184.6p.
The biggest Footsie risers included Admiral Group up 32p at £11.19, Kingfisher ahead 7.3p at 275.8p and Standard Chartered up 34p at £14.61.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Eurasian Natural Resources off 9.1p at 319.8p and Evraz down 5.1p at 229.2p.
Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen noted that risers included Aberdeen Asset Management, which added 1.4% to 331.3p, while Parkmead closed 2.1% higher at 12.25p.
Fallers included BG Group, which lost 0.5% to £13.21, and Hunting shed 4.3% to 779.25p.