FTSE boosted by late Dow rally

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The FTSE Index stood 6.3 points higher at 5556.8

A late rally for Wall Street ensured London stocks steadied after a turbulent start to the week driven by European debt fears.

The FTSE 100 Index, which tumbled 2% on Monday on worries over the potential for further bailouts, recovered its poise to stand 6.3 points higher at 5556.8.

The mood was helped by the performance of US stocks following London’s close on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing just 0.3% lower.

Mining stocks put back some of Monday’s losses, while telecoms group BT topped the risers board with a gain of 2.2p to 171.2p. Banks were also higher, with Lloyds up 0.6p at 61.2p and Royal Bank of Scotland ahead 0.2p to 38.7p.

In corporate news, shares in school trips and hotel breaks firm Holidaybreak jumped 7% after it posted a 9% rise in full-year profits and announced the acquisition of 50% of student accommodation firm Meininger.

The deal is part of plans to make Holidaybreak the leading brand in the European school trips market. Shares rose 18.25p to 288.25p.

Topps Tiles shares rose 2% after the tile and wood flooring specialist reinstated its dividend and lifted its full-year profits. With the company also reporting a rise in like-for-like sales of 3.2% in the first seven weeks of its new financial year, Topps shares improved 1.25p to 58.9p.

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