Banking sector gains pushes FTSE 100 up

Banking sector gains pushes FTSE 100 up

Positive movement in the banking sector on Wednesday helped the FTSE 100 post a gain of 28.7 points to close at 5,245.9, while the FTSE 250 gained 4.5 points to 7,541.7 on a volume of 2.9 billion shares traded.

The gains in the banking sector came as Goldman Sachs touted the stocks to its clients for reasons ranging from good volume growth to high dividend yields.

HBOS gained 1.9 percent to 891 p, while Northern Rock was up 1.3 percent to 823 A?p. Goldman Sachs had rated both banks at a�?outperforma�?.

In addition, Royal Bank of Scotland gained 1.2 percent to A?17.38, HSBC was up 1.5 percent to 911 A?p, and Barclays added 1.3 percent to 571p.

Another a�?outperforma�? rating from Goldman Sachs sent mobile phone company Vodafone up 0.4 percent to 143p.

Utilities struggled, with Scottish Power down 1.5 percent to 449 A?p and United Utilities losing 1.2 percent to A?10.70.

Worries about the effects of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico led reinsurer Benfield to lose 3.5 percent to 273p.

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