FTSE edges higher, buoyed by financial sector gains

LONDON, March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:23am EDT

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index was led higher by the financials sector on Thursday, with Lloyds Banking Group a solid gainer, though trade was seen cautious given concerns about a potential run on Cyprus's banks.

The FTSE 100 was up 14.18 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,401.74 by 0813 GMT, with Lloyds up 1.4 percent, continuing to draw support from news on Wednesday that UK banks needed to raise 25 billion pounds ($37.78 billion) in fresh capital, less than some had feared.

Tight controls will be imposed on transactions by Cyprus's banks to limit cash withdrawals to no more than 300 euros ($380)per day, ban the cashing of cheques and bar businesses from transferring money abroad unless they can show it is for imports.

"We haven't seen a levy applied to bank deposits as part of a eurozone bailout yet, so it's difficult to see what the reaction will be," Craig Erlam, market strategist at Alpari, said.

"Given the level of uncertainty, it's not unusual for traders to sit on the sidelines and wait and see how it plays out. I therefore expect things to pick up again next week." ($1 = 0.7824 euros) ($1 = 0.6617 British pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Simon Jessop)

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