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FTSE lifts above 4,500

London equities opened higher today at 4,409 with financial stocks lifting the index as high as 4,510 ahead of the results of the US stress tests.

By 9.30am, the index was up 1.5 per cent to 4,459 with Barclays up 2.6 per cent to 295.50p and HSBC up 4.4 per cent to 562.75p.

By 11.20am it was 2.3 per cent higher at 4,449 after hitting an intraday high of 4,510 with confidence boosted by Barclays’ robust results.

Lloyds Banking Group plummeted 8.6 per cent to 103.70p on the back of another loss warning from the lender this in an interim statement this morning.

Insurers led gains with Legal & General up 10.7 per cent to 72.40p, Prudential up 4.3 per cent to 444.50p and Aviva up 6.1 per cent to 359p.

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