A move to boost lending by six central banks including the Bank of England has triggered a rally on world markets.
The banks, also featuring the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve, agreed to lower interest rates on US dollar loans, which should encourage lending and help to stave off another credit crunch.
The FTSE 100 Index surged as soon as the measure was announced, rising 3.3% or 176 points to 5513.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by a similar level in early trading, while the Dax in Germany rose 4% and the Cac-40 in France was 3% higher.
Before the announcement was made London’s leading shares index saw gains of up to 1%, amid hopes European leaders would make headway expanding the region’s bailout fund to help shore up confidence in the eurozone.
Banks led the charge despite some of the sector’s biggest UK players suffering a credit ratings downgrade from Standard & Poor’s.
Lloyds was ahead 7%, or 1.6p at 24.8p, Royal Bank of Scotland was 1.4p higher at 20.9p and Barclays rose 11p to 179.9p.
Miners also surged on the news, with South American copper miner Antofagasta topping the risers’ board, up 96p at 1180p.
Cairn Energy was the biggest faller after it reported more disappointing results from its exploration activities in Greenland. Cairn shares were 8.3p lower at 266.9p, a drop of 3%.
The Edinburgh-based firm said it had failed to find oil in two more wells, following the closure of three other wells earlier this year.
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