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Thur City brief: TSB leads market after bid

New figures showing the UK trade balance making an unexpectedly sharp improvement lifted the market. The deficit on sales of goods overseas shrank to £8.4 billion in January, better than the £9.7bn consensus forecast.

TSB and Lloyds shares led the corporate risers following the offer for TSB from Sabadell. TSB surged 25%, helping shares in 50% owner Lloyds higher.

RBS was also making gains after Investec raised its stance from ‘sell’ to ‘hold’ following an 11% drop in the shares since the bank’s annual results two weeks ago.

Mining stocks were on the rebound after recent China-related weakness, with metal prices firming up in morning trade. Fresnillo, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore were all performing well.

The FTSE100 was up 0.8% before the close at 6,777.


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