London markets lose earlier gains as jitters return to banking sector

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The flurry of optimism in London markets on Friday morning after a 30 billion dollar (£25 billion) cash injection into a struggling US bank dissipated towards the afternoon as global markets continue to feel the fallout from a series of failures.

The FTSE 100 had initially gained exactly 100 points in the early hours of trading on Friday morning.

It came as a series of US banking giants got together to pour cash into First Republic Bank – another mid-sized US lender that had been struggling in recent days.

But by mid-afternoon the gains had been reversed and London’s top index was instead trading down by exactly 100 points – a drop of around 1.3%.

It came as First Republic’s share price began to slide again when markets opened in the US. Shares dropped by around a quarter.

Credit Suisse – the Swiss banking giant which has also been struggling – was also down, by 10%.

The bank was given £45 billion by the Swiss central bank to help it keep running earlier this week.

It meant that all the gains that the FTSE 100 made on Thursday were wiped out, while markets in the US and Europe were also heavily in the red.

First Republic’s shares had cratered by nearly three quarters in just a week as it reverberated from the failure of three other banks in the US and the weakness in Credit Suisse.

On Thursday evening, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and other major US players deposited 30 billion US dollars (£25 billion) into the struggling lender.

“Investors regained some poise after the tribulations of recent days, boosted by further actions to stem the potential of bank sector contagion,” Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said on Friday morning.

He added: “The general waves of relief also washed over to UK shores, with the main indices again reflecting a more positive frame of mind for now.

“Banks recovered some of the losses of the last week, although there remains some way to go before the potential of contagion can be definitively dismissed and those share prices be able to return to their previous levels.”

London markets lose earlier gains as jitters return to banking sector

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