* FTSE 100 up 1 percent to 6,436.20 points
* Lloyds rises on reports of overseas interest, RBS also
* Buy oil, mining stocks on low valuations -Monument
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 8 Banks led Britain's top share
index higher on Monday as speculation about overseas interest in
Lloyds Banking Group revived appetite for the sector.
Financial shares added 19.2 points to the FTSE 100,
which was up 60.7 points, or 1 percent, at 6,436.20 points at
1043 GMT, with Royal Bank of Scotland the top riser.
Shares in Lloyds rose 2.7 percent to 66.4 pence, testing a
2-1/2 year high, after reports that foreign investors were
considering buying up to half the British government's stake in
"Taking the stake out of government hands and putting it
back into the free market is likely to be seen as stock-bullish
in the medium term," said Matt Basi, head of UK sales trading at
CMC Markets UK.
"The story doesn't have a huge amount of meat on the bone at
this stage, so it's a case of clients looking for an excuse to
dip their toes back into the water. It's likely we're going to
see more of this as the story progresses."
Basi added that bid speculation around Lloyd's was reviving
interest in battered RBS, in which Britain also owns a stake it
wants to sell.
RBS, up 5.3 percent, extended a rebound from three-month
lows hit last week as investors snapped up the stock, which is
now trading at 10 times its expected earnings for the next 12
months. It traded at multiple of 13.6 in May, before a 24
percent share price slide, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Energy shares added another 12.3 points to the index.
Traders said investors were hunting for bargains among
shares which depend on economic growth, such as oil and mining
stocks, after recent data pointed to the U.S. recovery gaining
traction. But the outlook for both sectors was clouded by signs
of a slowdown in industrial activity in China.
"It's a dangerous and, some would say, stupid idea to
suggest buying the miners and the oils, but I find these levels
persuasive," said Andy Ash, head of sales trading at Monument
The integrated oil and gas sector traded at 12.9 times its
expected earnings for the next 12 months, a low not seen since
December, Thomson Reuters data showed. The specialty mining and
metals sector was trading at a 10.5 multiple, a level which
triggered a rebound in April.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)