European shares finished the day at a one-month closing high. Investors were encouraged by data showing the number of US workers claiming new unemployment benefits fell last week.
Financial shares were top gainers, boosted by the fact that JPMorgan Chase’s second quarter results easily surpassed analysts’ estimates That news along with Tuesday’s reassuring quarterly results from Goldman Sachs led to optimism that the banking sector is recovering. The markets did not seem too bothered by the fact that JPMorgan Chase’s – which is the second largest US bank – also said its credit card business probably will not make money next year. Drugmakers were also in demand, but technology companies were hit by Nokia’s profit warning. Lower metals and crude prices pulled down mining companies and oil producers.