FTSE100 Up 6 Pct

Leading shares were sharply higher by midday with the FTSE 100 clocking up gains of almost 6% in the wake of the momentous day's trading Stateside.

Having seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average climb by a record amount yesterday, UK blue chips were up 252.2 points at 4,509.8 by noon, while the FTSE 250 was also storming higher, up 4.3% at 7,328.92.

Meanwhile, over in Europe the Dax rose 5.3% to 5,330.67, while the FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 5.5% to 989 points.

Shares shrugged off soaring inflation, which has climbed to 5.2% according to the latest reading, as well as the lowest housing transaction figures for 30 years, to make gains as the global banking rescue plans continued to boost sentiment.

Investors appeared particularly optimistic about the US, which is to announce details of its bailout plan today, while rising oil - which jumped almost $3 a barrel for Brent crude futures to $80.4 - also helped energy companies.

One big riser was Barclays, the top performing bank, which was up 12.5% as it rebounded from recent sharp falls having revealed it will not need to borrow capital from the government to secure its capital ratios.

There were few fallers, among them Lloyds TSB and HBOS, down 4.9% and 2.8% respectively.