Britain’s Top Share Index Reports a 0.8% Rise

Britain's top share index is reported to climb by 0.8 percent by midday on Monday, as banks and commodities rallied following the previous session's falls and British Airways plans for closer ties with American Airlines were given initial approval from the US Government.

Shares leapt almost 4% or 7.2p to 202.7p after regulators said the firm would only have to sacrifice four transatlantic take-off and landing slots at Heathrow - to the anger of BA rival Virgin.

The wider Footsie witnessed a 39.9 points rise at 5182.4 in an otherwise grim session for corporate news, while many global stock markets were closed.

Barclays registered a rise of 7.9p to 269.9p exceeding figures speculated to pose full-year profits of more than £11 billion. Numerous other stocks in the sector also performed well after Citigroup analysts said UK banks looked undervalued compared to their European peers.

Burberry also crept onto the risers board, adding 7.5p to 609.5p after brokers at UBS said prospects for the luxury goods sector looked brighter during the second half of 2010. Shares were down 1.7p to 120.8p, making it the top flight's biggest casualty.

Anthony Grech, market analyst, at IG Index, "There is always the potential for the Greece situation to add in a little bit of short-term volatility but for now it would not be a surprise to see sideways trading for the rest of the session".