European shares finished the day ahead, extending their winning streak to five days and posting their best weekly gain since late November last year as investors have become more confident on the prospects of recovery.
Banks had a bit of a rocky ride reacting to the second-quarter results from Bank of America and Citibank, but BNP Paribas, Barclays, HSBC and Societe Generale all ended the session higher. Car makers also extended gains from recent days as industry analysts recommended investors buy Daimler and BMW. Crude oil prices rose in response to an unexpected increase in new home construction in the US which could indicate the worst of the recession is over. Metals prices were also higher. But Carrefour, the world’s second biggest retailer, fell on lower second-quarter sales.