FTSE 100 Gets High With A Lttle Help From Some Banks

U.K. stocks rose on Tuesday, with banks leading the surge before the chancellor’s spring statement on Wednesday.

The U.K. budget deficit narrowed in February from the last year but the shortfall was the second-highest for the month of February since records began in 1993, the Office for National Statistics said earlier today.

Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was GBP 13.1 billion in February, which was GBP 2.4 billion less than in February.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 37 points, or half a percent, at 7,480 after gaining half a percent the previous day.

Banks climbed on expectations that they would benefit from higher interest rates. HSBC Holdings jumped 3.2 percent, Barclays gained 1.9 percent and Lloyds Banking Group added 1.7 percent.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher dropped 2.1 percent despite the company reporting a significant rise in pretax profit and revenue for fiscal 2022.

Softcat, a provider of IT infrastructure products and services, soared 9.2 percent after reporting solid half-year results and lifting full-year guidance.

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