LONDON (ShareCast) – RSA Insurance (LSE: RSA.L – news) climbed strongly ahead of receiving the results of an independent investigation after it reiterated its confidence that the recent financial irregularities are isolated to its Irish business. The results are due to be announced tomorrow.

Banking stocks were extending yesterday’s gains after data showed that funding conditions had improved in the fourth quarter of 2013. Barclays (LSE: BARC.L – news) , Lloyds and RBS (LSE: RBS.L – news) were rising high this afternoon.

IAG and easyJet both continued Tuesday’s rise which came on the back of strong passenger numbers.

Marks & Spencer (Other OTC: MAKSF – news) ‘s shares were regaining some of yesterday’s losses after disappointing with its Christmas trading figures and ahead of a trading update tomorrow.

Meanwhile, after an initial rise, Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE – news) sank as it reported flat like-for-like (LFL) sales in the third quarter as customers held back on spending ahead of the Christmas period. While sales still managed to beat consensus forecasts, S&P Capital IQ maintained its ‘sell’ rating for the stock and cut its target price, saying: “We are increasingly concerned about Sainsbury’s weakening balance sheet and do not see any dividend increase in fiscal year 2015.”

Rival supermarket Tesco (Xetra: TCO.DE – news) , which is due to update the market tomorrow on its performance over the festive season, was also trading in the red this afternoon, along with sector peer Morrison.

Utility companies Severn Trent (Other OTC: STRNY – news) , SSE (LSE: SSE.L – news) , Centrica (LSE: CNA.L – news) and National Grid (LSE: NG.L – news) were unwanted.

FTSE 100 – Risers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 101.50p +3.84%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 358.60p +2.34%
Glencore Xstrata (Other OTC: GLCNF – news) (GLEN) 315.55p +2.17%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 435.80p +1.77%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 83.86p +1.64%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,628.00p +1.43%
Smiths Group (Other OTC: SMGKF – news) (SMIN) 1,501.00p +1.42%
Standard Life (LSE: SL.L – news) (SL.) 369.70p +1.07%
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L – news) (ARM) 1,064.00p +0.85%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 443.90p +0.63%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF – news) (ADN) 474.40p -3.38%
Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE.L – news) (TATE) 775.00p -3.19%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,245.00p -2.98%
Centrica (Frankfurt: CENB.F – news) (CNA (SES: E2:5GC.SI – news) ) 328.80p -2.55%
William Hill (Other OTC: WIMHF – news) (WMH) 400.00p -2.49%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 360.10p -2.39%
Aggreko (Dusseldorf: 4A4A.DU – news) (AGK) 1,700.00p -2.30%
Tesco (Frankfurt: TS3.F – news) (TSCO) 324.85p -2.08%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,635.00p -1.92%
Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW.L – news) (TLW) 828.00p -1.78%