Better-than-expected earnings from mobile-phone company Sony Ericsson boosted telecommunications stocks in Europe and added to a firm close for the major indexes Monday.
Sony Ericsson topped quarterly estimates despite a drop in the average selling price of handsets. Shares of Ericsson closed 1% higher in Sweden.
London's FTSE-100 made the most convincing gains out of the major indexes, but Northern Rock continued to make volatile moves, with a 5.7% decline at the market close, following a 32% jump Wednesday.
Also in the UK, a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report revealed that the outlook for housing in the UK in September dropped the most two years.
The Frankfurt DAX and the Paris CAC-40 were up slightly. Shares of Franco-German EADS rose 1.5% after rival Boeing announced it would delay its 787 Dreamliner by six months. EADS investors will also be anticipating a report from the French foreign minister on the share-trading scandal that hit the aerospace company.
US stocks moved to new intraday highs after discount retail giant Wal-MartStores issued better-than-expected guidance for the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the new CEO of BPTony Hayward announced sweeping changes to improve performance at the oil giant. Shares of BP were 1.6% higher following the news.