Having been in the red for most of the day European shares turned positive and finished the session up more than one percent.
Investors took their cue from Wall Street which rose after the release of better than expected US economic data. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of US factory activity was up by more than economists had forecast in March and sales of existing US homes unexpectedly rose in February. In Europe the best performers were banks with ING up over eight percent while Barclays and Credit Suisse both gained around six percent. Energy stocks fell as oil prices were sharply lower after inventories of crude in the US reached their highest in 16 years.