Taking their lead from earlier gains in Asia, Paris closed more than one percent higher and London gained modestly, though Frankfurt declined slightly.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Wall Street ended mixed, with the Dow slipping slightly, the Nasdaq posting a new record and the S&P 500 ending essentially flat.

World oil prices eased as OPEC countries and other crude-producing nations decided to stick to their agreement from just over a month ago to increase output very slowly.

“European markets are on the rise,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading firm IG.

“We have largely seen upward momentum for growth in European manufacturing,” he said, pointing to bright PMI survey data for the region.

“There looks to me to be a lot of underlying optimism in the markets, despite the fact that the coming months will no doubt throw up some nasty…

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