StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 was supported by rising banks, helping to offset concerns over gains by the far right in Sweden's elections over the weekend and trade war tensions.

Royal Bank of Scotland rose 2.5% to 251.1p and Barclays added 1.5% to 177p after.

The UK economy grew by 0.3% in July, beating market expectations of 0.2% growth, according to official figures.

Another noticeable top performer was British Gas-owner Centrica, up 1.4% at 150.2p.

The blue-chip index advanced 0.3% to 7,298 around midday.

Brent crude oil increased 0.7% to $77.40 per barrel.

Shares in embattled department store chain Debenhams slumped 15.5% to 10.8p following reports over the weekend that it is bringing in advisers to explore restructuring plans.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Plastics business RPC revealed preliminary discussions around a possible sale of the company with Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital, sparking a 17.9% rally to 806p.

Primark owner Associated British Foods confirmed its annual outlook was unchanged despite European sugar prices coming under pressure from high supply. The conglomerate said profitability at Primark is expected to offset this, but this failed to reassure the market as the stock shed 1.2% to £22.42.

Student accommodation investor Unite exchanged contracts with Singapore Press Holdings for the sale of 14 properties for £108.5m. Shares in the company dipped 0.4% to 872.5p.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

City centre bar chain Revolution Bars declined 2.7% to 123.5p on confirmed discussions to buy Deltic, a year after the companies were involved in merger talks.

Orosur Mining completed a $2m private placing and exploration deal with Newmont Columbia, causing the shares to soar 233.3% to 6p.

Allied Minds announced its subsidiary Federated Wireless met two important milestones, pushing the shares 8.7% higher to 80p. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com