European shares finished ahead for the seventh straight session but did trim their gains near the end of trading.
The biggest gainers were commodity, insurance and health care stocks. Food retailers did well as British supermarket chain Morrison’s raised its outlook for full-year results. Investors were also encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s upbeat comments and stronger-than-expected quarterly results from such US economic bellweather companies as earth moving equipment maker Caterpillar, Coca-Cola and UnitedHealth Group. Energy stock gained on the back of crude oil prices rising to a two-week high. But banks slid, along with mobile phone maker Nokia after its shares were downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley.