Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as positive signs about the global economic recovery started to be outweighed by more immediate concerns.

Some solid jobs data from the US last Friday helped give a boost to investor confidence and share prices.

However confidence is being dragged by ongoing concerns about sovereign debt in the eurozone, where Portugal is expected to be the third of the "PIIG" countries to receive a bailout. In addition ongoing conflict in Libya and unrest in the Middle East has helped push up oil prices, adding further pressure to the economic recovery.

By 09:30 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 1.04 per cent to 59.69 pence per share, RBS shares dropped 1.24 per cent to 41.32 pence per share, Barclays shares fell 1.66 per cent to 283.50 pence per share and HSBC shares declined 0.06 per cent to 647.20 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.32 per cent to 5,998.05.