Barclays leads London banks higher

Barclays leads London banks higher

Equities markets were higher in Europe Thursday to end a holiday-shortened week.

In London, the FTSE 100 added 1.48 percent to 3,983.71 while the FTSE 250 gained 3.88 percent to 6,978.91 as banks and miners comprised the top five winners on the 100.

Barclays added 12.48 percent on the session while Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM) was up 11.11 percent and Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) gained 10.88 percent.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 2.02 percent to 777.97 while the CAC-40 added 1.82 percent to 2,974.18, the Dax was 3.06 percent higher to 4,491.12 and the IBEX gained 3.57 percent to 8,704.8.

Asia-Pacific region markets were also higher on the session.

In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 was up 3.74 percent to 8,916.06 while the Topix index added 3.26 percent to 841.81 and the Mothers market gained 2.1 percent to 319.04.

Elsewhere in the region the Sensex was up 0.57 percent to 10,803.86 while the Shanghai Composite added 1.38 percent to 2,379.88 and in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries gained 1.4 percent to 3,617.5 while the S&P/ASX200 was 1.44 percent higher to 3,671.6.

The Straits Times Index added 2.5 percent to 1,828.51 while the Hang Seng was up 2.95 percent to 14,901.41, the Taiex was 4.12 percent higher to 5,667.8 and the Kospi gained 4.3 percent to 1,316.35.

In early afternoon trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 2.46 percent higher to 8,029.93 while the Nasdaq Composite added 3.18 percent to 1,641.31 and the S&P 500 had gained 2.62 percent to 398.72.

Crude oil prices were higher while metals and grains were mixed.

The yen weakened as equities markets saw gains.

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