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Banks lead FTSE bounce

London - Britain's top share index rose on Wednesday, rebounding from steep losses last session after the US Federal Reserve's Chairman defended the use of monetary stimulus to help boost the world's biggest economy.

Ben Bernanke strongly defended the central bank's action before Congress on Tuesday, easing worries over a possible early retreat from bond purchases and helping US stock markets to gain after the market close in Europe.

A trader monitors the screen on a trading floor in London. Credit: Reuters

Banks, among the sectors that benefit most directly from central bank easy money policy, a tactic also pursued by the Bank of England, gained 0.8 percent to add the most points to the UK's blue-chip index.

By 10:04 SA time, the FTSE 100 index was up 20.60 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,291.04, having lost 1.3 percent on Tuesday after an inconclusive Italian election result. - Reuters

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