European shares bounced back to one year highs, with banks, food producers and drugmakers leading the advance.
Financials were the best performers, with Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays, Dexia and BNP Paribas all up, but part-nationalised Lloyds fell. On the food front, the gainers included Nestle, Unilever, Cadbury and Associated British Foods. Commodity shares were also popular as a rise in metals prices helped miners. Energy producers were boosted by higher crude prices. Oil hit a one year high above $79 a barrel at one stage, driven up by bullish sentiment across financial markets, but later slipped back as traders questioned whether current price levels are justified given how ample fuel supplies are. German carmaker Daimler rose seven percent after unexpectedly publishing key quarterly earnings figures that were better than anticipated. British bus and rail group National Express jumped 10.5 percent after Stagecoach confirmed it has approached its rival about a possible merger.