Morning markets: FTSE 100 continues gains on eurozone fix hopes

UK stocks open higher this morning, tracking the gains seen in US and Asian markets and prompted by hopes of a successful summit of European Union leaders.

The FTSE 100 was 45.72 points up within minutes of opening, standing at 5,614.44 as of 0803 GMT. The index ended ahead yesterday, despite the news that 15 eurozone members and the European Financial Stability Facility are being given downgrade warnings by Standard & Poor’s.

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy have suggested establishing a new treaty which would punish European Union members whose deficit exceeds the 3% of GDP limit. This and other measures will be discussed when the leaders meet on Thursday and Friday.

Life insurer Resolution was the strongest gainer in early trading, advancing 3.14% to 265.7p.

Fashion house Burberry followed after rising 3% to 1,305p, while oil and gas producer Essar Energy was up 2.68% to 252.5p. Banking groups Lloyds and Barclays were up 2.58% to 27.8p and 2.47% to 192.65p, respectively.

Falls in early trading were led by interdealer broker ICAP, which dropped 2.1% to 358.8p. Fund manager Investec was down 0.91% to 360p, Associated British Foods declined 0.9% to 1,106p, broker Hargreaves Lansdown fell 0.28% to 468.7p and aerospace firm Meggitt dropped 0.11% to 366p.

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