European shares finished the session up for the fifth day in a row.
They tracked Wall Street which was boosted by upbeat US economic data. That included an unexpected rebound in orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in February – up for the first time in seven months – and sales of new homes in the US which rose at their fastest pace in 10 months. Oil prices slipped as the latest figures showed that stockpiles of crude in the US rose last week but European oil companies shares gained. Weaker metals prices pulled down mining companies. Europe’s biggest clothing retailer, Inditex of Spain, rose 4.8 percent after it said it expected to outperform the industry this year and will continue to focus on profitable expansion.