FTSE 100 rebounds to close day ahead

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(Close): After spending much of the day behind, the London market scraped into positive territory at close.

The FTSE 100 closed up 3.37 points, or 0.05%, at 6,724.43, helped by strong shares in financial companies.

Barclays was the biggest winner with a 5.5% gain, followed by Standard Life and Schroders, which both added more than 3%.

Barclays shares took off after the bank reported strong second quarter earnings.

The FTSE 250 added 30 points to close at 17,282. The biggest winner on that index was pharmaceuticals firm Indivior. Shares jumped 9% after it raised its sales forecast for the financial year.

Shares in education publisher Pearson sank 9% after it reported a worse-than-expected slide in sales. It was the biggest FTSE faller.

The company said underlying sales fell by 7% to £1.87bn in the first half of the year, after suffering problems in the US and UK, its two biggest markets.

Outside the FTSE 100, shares in London-based estate agency Foxtons fell 11.29% after it reported a fall in half-year profits, blaming uncertainty around the UK's EU referendum for the drop.

The company added it did not see any prospects of a recovery in the London property market before the end of the year.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.72% against the dollar to $1.3259 but fell 0.12% against the euro to €1.1873.