PART-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group was a star performer on the London market today after it reported a return to profit.

But the FTSE 100 Index was in the red - down 35.3 point to 5718.6 - as worries about Greece’s rescue plan and China’s measures to slow its economy hit sentiment. In Asia, Chinese stocks declined 3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.3%.

Lloyds was one of the biggest risers in the London top flight after saying it was profitable for the first three months of the year.

The bank said it expects to sustain momentum throughout 2010 and report profits at both the half year and full-year stage. Lloyds, which is 41% owned by the taxpayer, added 1.06p to 71.3p.

Oil giant BP was among the fallers however, despite reporting first quarter profits were more than double last year at 5.6 billion US dollars (£3.6 billion).

The firm has been helped as the price of crude oil has increased due to recovery hopes for the global economy and market speculation.

However, the results have been overshadowed by the continuing oil spill from a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico and shares were more than 1% lower - down 7.5p to 619.3p.

In the second tier, home shopping firm N Brown rose 3% after posting a 12.6% hike in annual profits.

Shares added 7.7p to 260.1p despite the firm’s warning that 2010 will be "no less challenging".