July 8, 2013 / 7:57 AM / 5 years ago

British shares bounce back, tracking late U.S. gains

* FTSE 100 up 1.2 percent

* Index plays catch-up with Wall Street

* ITV looking at Scandinavian tie-up - media report

* Lloyds rises on reports of overseas interest

By David Brett

LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s top shares rose early on Monday, playing catch-up with late Friday gains in the United States and underpinned by the promise of an ultra-loose monetary policy backdrop.

By 0737 GMT, the FTSE 100 was up 73.09 points, or 1.2 percent to 6,448.61, recovering the previous session’s losses.

“Markets have opened higher on a stronger U.S. market which rebounded (on Friday) to close on the session highs,” Jawaid Afsar, sales trader at SecurEquity, said.

Markets remain sensitive to talk of central bank stimulus support being withdrawn, and Afsar said the likelihood of more rather than less quantitative easing by the Bank of England following comments last week from new governor Mark Carney would support further share price gains.

The FTSE 100 has rallied near 7 percent in the last 10 trading days after hitting lows in late June that marked a near 12 percent fall from May highs.

The first week of July saw central bankers in the euro zone and UK adding their voices to those of U.S. Federal Reserve members arguing that the death of quantitative easing may be a lot less imminent than markets are suggesting.

Among the early risers on the FTSE 100 was free-to-air broadcaster ITV, which gained 1.5 percent after the Sunday Times reported the firm may bid up to 90 million pounds for Scandinavia’s Nice Entertainment, one of the largest Nordic content operators.

“As long as ITV does not get involved in an expensive bidding war and shows discipline, a deal should be positive,” Liberum said in a note.

Lloyds Banking Group shares rose more than 2 percent early after reports overseas investors were circling to buy up to half of the government’s stake in the bank. (Reporting by David Brett; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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