Shares in British banks were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the Wall Street Journal suggested that the US Federal Reserve is likely to begin another round of Treasury bond purchases.

The WSJ claimed that the Federal Reserve is likely to purchase bonds worth hundreds of billions of dollars over a period of months, representing less and slower purchases than was previously predicted.

By 10:15 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were up 1.10 per cent to 68.74 pence per share, RBS shares rose 1.14 per cent to 45.29 pence per share, Barclays shares increased 1.42 per cent to 281.30 pence per share and HSBC shares climbed 0.03 per cent to 660.20 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 0.56 per cent to 5,675.21.