(Reuters) – Britain’s FTSE 100 recovered on Monday after losses in the past two sessions, as financial stocks benefited from reports of a possible Commerzbank-Deutsche Bank merger and mid-cap banks Charter Court and OneSavings also gained on deal talks.
The FTSE 100 advanced 0.8 percent by 0836 GMT, on course for its best day in nearly a month. The FTSE 250 was 0.4 percent higher.
A source told Reuters on Saturday that Deutsche Bank’s board had agreed to hold talks with rival Commerzbank on the feasibility of a merger.
British Airways owner IAG added 1.2 percent after a Citigroup rating upgrade.
The FTSE 250 saw some steep moves with OneSavings surging 8.2 percent after talks with Charter Court Financial Services regarding a possible merger.
The rise placed OneSavings on course for its biggest one-day gain since August 2016. Charter Court Financial jumped 6.5 percent.
The main index, whose members get a large part of their revenue in dollars, also benefited from a weaker pound. Sterling fell with parliament holding crucial Brexit votes this week.
HSBC, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Diageo, were among the leaders in early trading.
Ocado, which has announced an online retail deal with Marks & Spencer, was among a handful of losers. Its shares slipped 1 percent after the Times reported that a survey showed almost a quarter of its customers might stop shopping with the online grocer if Waitrose products were not available.
Cairn Energy dropped 5 percent after saying it expected a delay in the timetable for an award in relation to its proceedings against India.
Builder Kier Group slumped 10 percent on the small cap index after forecasting higher debt for 2018.
(Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)