European stocks rose slightly Tuesday, snapping a three-day losing streak, as investors embraced some upbeat earnings reports from the likes of Swiss Reinsurance and U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer.
European shares declined for a third straight session on Monday, with banks again topping the losers' list as Citigroup's warning of loan losses sparked fresh worries over the impact of credit market woes.
Global banks are going to take far longer than previously imagined to clear away debris left by a receding tide of U.S. subprime mortgages which has played havoc with balance sheets, a top investment banker said on Monday.
Shares in British bank Barclays fell heavily in morning trade Friday and were among the biggest losers in Europe on market talk of funding worries and concern that Britain's third-biggest bank was guiding down numbers.
Euro zone factory growth sank to its slowest pace in over two years in October, led by a sharp slowdown in Germany and a contraction in Spain, final figures from a key monthly survey showed on Friday.
European bank stocks took a dive on Thursday as fear spread among investors that the U.S. subprime crisis will take another huge chunk out of profits in the fourth quarter.
Consumer goods giant Unilever reported a 4.5 percent rise in third-quarter underlying sales on Thursday, and said it was confident of meeting its sales and profit margin targets for 2007.
Major European markets ended in positive territory Monday, as anticipation of lower U.S. interest rates helped sentiment.
Dutch supermarket group Ahold said on Friday third-quarter sales rose 1.1 percent and it said an ongoing revamp of its stores in the United States would continue to hurt margins.
Britain only has itself to blame for how problems at Northern Rock turned into the first run on a UK bank in 140 years, the European Union's top financial regulator, Charlie McCreevy, is expected to say later Friday.
Dutch electrical parts distributor Hagemeyer rejected a breakup offer from French rivals Rexel and Sonepar, although analysts said the French camp remained well placed in its bid attempt.
Royal Dutch Shell reported an 8 percent drop in third-quarter profit as oil and gas production and refining margins fell, but the underlying result beat all forecasts.
German business sentiment deteriorated in October as expected, pointing to a slowdown in Europe's largest economy, a closely watched survey showed on Thursday.
Euro zone services growth bounced back much more than expected this month after hitting a two-year low in September, but the manufacturing expansion waned further, a key survey showed on Wednesday.
TomTom, Europe's largest maker of car navigation devices, beat average analyst forecasts with a 43 percent rise in operating profit on Wednesday and raised its full-year outlook.
The chief executive of online gaming company Unibet Group has been arrested in the Netherlands on a French warrant, the company said Tuesday.
Dutch electrical parts distributor Hagemeyer posted third-quarter sales of 1.628 billion euros ($2.31 billion) on Tuesday, just below expectations, adding group organic sales grew 3.2 percent.
Dutch chemical group Akzo Nobel said on Tuesday its third-quarter core profit rose 11 percent, supported by its chemical unit and cost cutting at its decorative coatings business.
European Union leaders clinched final agreement on Friday on a treaty to reform the 27-nation bloc's institutions, replacing a defunct constitution and ending a two-year crisis of confidence in Europe's future.
One Bank of England policymaker wanted to cut borrowing costs this month, but was outgunnned by the other eight who argued new forecasts in November would provide a better steer on how the economy was faring.