Energy Stocks Push Euro Market Higher
European shares closed mostly higher Tuesday, bucking a five-day losing streak, as energy stocks rallied on the surging oil price. Food retailers also gained after Tesco delivered positive results.
Asian markets were mostly higher after a day of bouncing between gains and losses. Tokyo finished up 0.6 percent.
Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca gained 5.7 percent after saying it had settled U.S. patent litigation against India's Ranbaxy Laboratories over its top-selling drug, ulcer pill Nexium.
Repsol was up 9.3 percent and and BG up 5.4 percent. The two companies and Brazil's Petrobras found oil offshore, which the head of Brazil's National Petroleum Agency said may be world's biggest oil discovery in the past 30 years.
Investors' attention will remain on the U.S. earnings season, said Franz Wenzel, strategist at AXA Investment Managers, in Paris.
"The focus has shifted from the financials toward the manufacturing and industrial side," he said.
"We might see more provisions (from the banks) which could weigh on the market. But we think that results from industrial firms such as Alcoa and General Electric are of much greater importance because they are giving a feeling that we are in a recessionary mood."
Curbing gains on the market late in the day was a drop in shares of U.S. financial services firm State Street after the company's CFO said it faced "two unrealised losses." This hit Wall Street and kept alive concerns in Europe about the fallout from the credit crunch.
"The whole big picture is the subprime issue and the banks, and 'have we got to the bottom of the writedowns?"' said Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management.
-- Reuters contributed to this report