- A banking rally helped the FTSE 100 to break past the 7,300 barrier after chair of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen suggested it could raise interest rates soon.

Banks benefit from higher interest rates as they can earn more from lending.

Standard Chartered (STAN), Natwest owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), high street bank Lloyds (LLOY) and Barclays (BARC) gained by up to 2.5%.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil were 0.5% lower at $53 and $55.66 per barrel, respectively.

Gold was flat at $1,224 per ounce and copper retreated to $6,018 per tonne.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones opened in the higher.

Asia's largest index, the Nikkei 225, advanced 1% on a weaker yen, which was good news for exporters in the country.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.2%, while the SSE Composite in Shanghai nudged lower.


Tour operator TUI (TUI) suffered a 7% hit following a Hanover court ruling that said the firm had to provide sick pay after an unusually high number of pilots and cabin crew were ill in October. TUI believed staff were pulling sickies as part of an unofficial strike over potential job cuts.

Copper miner Anglo American's (AAL) subsidiary Anglo American Platinum contributed $100m less in earnings to the company at the end of last year, compared to 2015.


Budget coach services Stagecoach (SGC) sold its interest in the Twin America joint venture for an undisclosed sum. It principally operates sightseeing bus services in New York.

Financial broker NEX Group (NXG), formerly ICAP, struggled despite posting an 11% increase in revenue for its third quarter as Donald Trump's election as US President sparked more trading activity. It warned it was too early to assume a period of subdued market conditions was at an end.


Shares in Australian-focused oil and gas firm Falcon Oil & Gas (FOG) shot up 58%. Figures produced by partner Origin Energy suggested its acreage in the Northern Territory's Beetaloo basin could contain as much as 496 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Micro-cap investor in the natural resources sector Polemos (PLMO) raised £495,000 through a discounted placing. Its shares plummeted 32%.

Software developer for rail operators Tracsis (TRCS) disappointed investors with slower sales as some are expected to take place in the second half of 2017, instead of the first half of the year. The stock fell by 13.4% to 402.5p on the bad news.

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