European shares finished the day higher with banks among the top gainers. That after the Irish government revealed details of its “bad bank” plan for cleansing banks of their risky property assets.Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland shares soared on expectations the Dublin government may not have to take equity in the lenders. There was good news from the US with an unexpected fall in weekly claims for unemployment benefit and the number of new housing starts grew along with applications for building permits. Weaker-than-expected quarterly sales figures from the world’s third largest software maker Oracle dragged down tech stocks such as Germany’s SAP and France’s Dassault Systemes. The dollar continues to slip against the euro and the yen.