Bank shares helped to lift stock markets across Europe after Italy reached a deal to bail out two banks.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was up 39.30 points at 7,463.43 in early morning trade, with Barclays up 1.2%.
However, sub-prime lender Provident Financial slipped 1,3% after RBC cut its rating on the firm to “sector perform” from “outperform”.
Shares in Provident had slumped by 17% last Wednesday after the company issued a profit warning.
In the FTSE 250, shares in outsourcing group Capita rose 3% after it announced it had sold its asset management services business to Link Group for £888m.
On the currency markets, the pound was 0.2% higher against the dollar at $1.2745, and was also up 0.2% against the euro at 1.1384 euros.