FTSE 100 regains ground following banking boost

<p>The FTSE 100 increased 0.5 per cent on Monday to stand at 6,710.</p>

The FTSE 100 was boosted by improving banking stocks on Monday (August 4th) to regain ground following the global sell off last week.

Britain's share index bounced back following uncertainty due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, the Ukraine crisis and worse-than-expected jobs figures in the US. The FTSE grew by 0.5 per cent (31 points) to stand at 6,710 at 12:00 BST and gained major support from banks across the country, Proactive Investors reports.

One of the driving forces behind the Footsie's improvement was HSBC, which rose by 1.7 per cent to 640p. This was despite the Asia-focused banking group recording a 12 per cent decline in half-year profits and its revival was felt across the sector. Rivals Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays also expected increases in their share price growing by 1.6 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, there was strong performance in the pharmaceutical sector with GlaxoSmithKiline recording bumps in their share price. GlaxoSmithKline was up 1.9 per cent to 1,443p as talk of a possible bid from Pfizer continued to circulate. The US giant has looked to give up its plan to purchase UK-based business AstraZeneca following a series of bids being rejected by the organisation.

Despite positive showing on Monday, the FTSE 100 is expected to start flat with spread betters expecting the benchmark share index to open around eight points higher. Proactive Investors reports that the Footsie had performed well in the US in recent days but poor data from China could impact on any further progress.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) in Asia is experiencing tough trading conditions and fell to 50 in July – a record low – and it is expected to impact on share indexes across the globe.

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