Both shares are up by over 2 pct in Monday morning trade as they are snapped up in the underlying positive market sentiment seen across the markets.





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Lloyds Banking Group plc (LON:LLOY) - Yes, this is "a strong uptrend"

A key indicator that has been flagged up concerning the Lloyds share price by the technical analysts we follow is the stock's RSI which remains above above 70 - a potentially negative sign in that such a figure suggests the stock is potentially overbought.

"It could mean either that the stock is in a lasting uptrend or just overbought and therefore bound to correct (look for bearish divergence in this case)," says Trading Central in their latest analysis on the stock.

However, in the absence of the said mentioned divergence we would conclude that the strong setup behind LLOY is well entrenched.

Barclays plc (LON:BARC): Also suggesting further gains to be made, but less clear cut than LLOY

The issue facing the Barclays plc share price is that massive jump that we saw on the 12th of February - "the spike saw a number of signals emerging that suggested further gains were in store but unfortunately these turned out to be false in the immediate term," says Will Peters, our man at The Spread Betting Project.

A summary of BARC's technical set up courtesy of Interactive Investor confirms the emergence of a stack of negative signals courtesy of the downward moves that came after the Feb 12th spike.

There are 9 bullish signals to 8 bearish signals.

Trading Central say that the bias is however still up for BARC: "As long as 285.7 is not broken down, we favour an upmove with 338 and then 355 as next targets."

The fundamentals: Why are investors hungry for risk today?

As mentioned both bank stock's are moving higher and this comes largely on the back of positive sentiment amongst investors.

The FTSE 100 opened higher this morning although gains may be limited as investors look ahead to the outcome of the Italian general election which goes into its second day today and the news overnight from China with the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI figure coming in below forecast at 50.4.

"There is no major US or UK economic news on  the agenda for the rest of today. Commodity prices are mixed and on the foreign exchanges, the pound is also mixed against both the dollar and the euro. Attention will remain on sterling as the market reacts to Friday night's downgrade from Moody's of the UK's AAA credit rating, although the news was not entirely unexpected," says a morning note from SVS Securities.

Moody's stated the development was due to sluggish economic growth and austerity continuing to affect the government's finances in the second half of the decade.

Elsewhere: Associated British Foods stocks underperform on latest update

Shares in Associated British Foods plc (LON:ABF) are 0.87 pct in the red this morning; ABF is seen at 1,814 at 9:50 in London.

Investors are shedding exposure to ABF after it announced in its pre-close period trading update, that the interim to 2 March 2013 results for the group will be ahead of expectations at the start of the year.

"Adjusted operating profit will be higher than last year and earnings per share for the first half will be substantially ahead. Net debt is expected to be more than £0.3 billion lower than a year ago at some £1.25 billion. Profit from sugar in the first half will be lower than last year with an improvement at Illovo more than offset by a decline in China," says a note on the matter from Guardian Stockbrokers.

Regarding Agriculture and Grocery; the revenue in the first half is expected to be ahead of last year.

For Ingredients the revenue in the first half is expected to be in line with last year although 6% higher at constant currency.

"Sales at Primark in the first half were exceptionally strong and are expected to be 23% ahead of the same period last year and 25% ahead at constant currency," say Guardian Stockbrokers.