Stocks Rally In Early Trade

Most Far Eastern markets have reacted positively to efforts by world leaders to end the recent financial turmoil.

Shares in Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and India were up in morning trading but the main markets in Shanghai and Taiwan lost ground.

Major central banks also made extra funds available and said they would take "whatever measures necessary".

World governments had been racing to throw financial institutions a lifeline before the major markets re-opened.

Japan's stock market is closed for a public holiday.

At the weekend, finance ministers from the main industrial nations - the G7 - approved a five-point plan to unfreeze credit markets, and a number of countries announced individual rescue packages.

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said his government would guarantee all bank deposits, however large, for the next three years.

Correspondents say that type of move raised confidence as markets opened, and Australia's central bank on Monday pumped $2bn into the banking system to facilitate improve lending between banks.

Australia's benchmark index ended 5.6% higher and South Korea's main Kospi index finished up 3.8%.

At 8.30am BST the FTSE100 was 5% higher at 4137.22 points, with Barclays one of the biggest gainers after it announced plans to raise £6.5bn without government help. HBOS and RBS were amongst the main losers.

The British government has said it is to inject up to £37bn of new capital into Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to raise £20bn, with chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin quitting the firm. A further £17bn of taxpayer cash will be injected into HBOS and Lloyds TSB. The plans mean taxpayers will own about 60% of RBS and 40% of the merged Lloyds TSB and HBOS.