Soaring bank shares reverse footsie slide

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The Independent Online

Spectacular gains for banking stocks today left London's leading share index near to reversing the 10% slide seen in this week's financial turmoil.

The improvement came after news of a huge US rescue plan to relieve banks of their "toxic" assets and a temporary City ban on short-selling.

The FTSE 100 Index rocketed more than 8 per cent at one point to leave it on course for its biggest one-day gain since being established more than 24 years ago.

Royal Bank of Scotland topped the list of shares, up 40 per cent. Lloyds TSB, which fell sharply yesterday on fears over its financial strength, lifted 35 per cent, or 83p, to 320.5p.

European stock markets were also soaring, with Paris's CAC 40 7 per cent up and Frankfurt's Dax 5 per cent higher.

Gordon Brown also moved to calm nerves today, saying: "We are now working with our international partners about broader intervention we are in a position to take."