FTSE CLOSE: Footsie finishes higher as concerns ease over state of Italy's beleaguered banks

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17.20 (close): Financial stocks led the charge on the London market as concerns eased over the state of Italy’s beleaguered banking industry.

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 33.01 points to 6,779.84, as British lenders raced ahead on reports that the world’s oldest bank, Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena, might be handed a state bailout to shore up its balance sheet.

Royal Bank of Scotland was the biggest riser on the London market, climbing five per cent or 11.3p to 209.1p, while Barclays rose more than four per cent or 9.9p to 226.8p.

Analysts are fearful that Italian banks, many of which are burdened by bad debt, may struggle to find refinancing during a period of political uncertainty, with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tendering his resignation following the ‘no’ vote in Italy’s referendum on constitutional reform.

Monte dei Paschi was looking to raise 5billion…

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