There was a bounce on the markets in Europe on Friday with stocks rising for the first time in four days.
London’s FTSE climbed by 1.65 per cent by the close, Frankfurt’s DAX by almost one percent, while the CAC40 in Paris leapt by nearly two percentage points.
Figures earlier in the day showing an unexpected fall in US retail sales were countered by a report that consumer confidence rose more than expected.
On Wall Street both the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ recovered to make slight gains.
Markets were lifted by speculation that US investment bank Lehman Brothers will find a buyer after a recent slide which saw it lose three quarters of its value since Monday.