In the UK FTSE 100 Index rose 11.5 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5286.5 although airlines including British Airways limited the advance as higher oil prices threatened to erode earnings
British Airways, Europe's third-biggest carrier, fell 0.91 % to 299.75p, while EasyJet, the region's second-biggest low-cost carrier, dropped 1.58% to 281p.
BP, Europe's largest oil company, added 2.61% to 629.50p. Shell, the region's No.2 oil company, gained 1.3% to 1,747p and BG Group, the UK's third-biggest oil company, added 1.65% to 492p.
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, added 1.49% to 817.50p, while Rio Tinto, the No.2 mining company, climbed 1.39% to 2,194p. Oil rose the most in four days, moving $1.65 to $64.28 a barrel after concerns a hurricane may form in the Caribbean and head for the Gulf of Mexico, further disrupting production.
Man Group, the world's largest hedge fund company, rose 1.4% to 1,563p after saying it is not in talks to buy Refco, the futures broker facing insolvency because of a bad-debt scandal.
Easynet Group, an Internet and broadband provider, jumped 21p, or 21.76%, to 117.50p, after rumours that BskyB is interested in making a takeover offer. BSkyB only moved a fraction, up 0.09% to 536p.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 35.46 points, or 0.3%, to 10,322.80, at its opening a short time ago, after General Motors's agreement with its union to cut health-care costs spurred optimism that car manufacturers will be able to lower some of their biggest expenses.
Financial companies have also contributed to the advance as earnings from Citigroup and Wachovia exceeded analysts' estimates.
Shares of GM have climbed $3.31, or 12%, to $31.29 for the best performance in the Dow Average. The world's largest carmaker says it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union to cut long-term retiree health-care liabilities by $15bn and reduce the employee health-care expense by $3bn annually on a pre-tax basis.
GM's union agreement has bolstered optimism that rivals will also be able to lower health-care costs. Ford Motor, the world's No. 3 carmaker, has rallied $0.31 to $8.92, while Dana, a maker of axles for light trucks, is also up $0.92 or $7.28.
Citigroup, the world's biggest financial-services firm by market value, has increased $0.37 to $45.41. The company reported third-quarter earnings of $1.01 a share, excluding some gains and costs, exceeding the average analyst estimate by $0.02.
Wachovia, the No.4 US bank, has added $0.40 to $48.25. The company says it had third-quarter earnings of $1.09 a share excluding some costs, beating the $1.07 expected by analysts. Charles Schwab is also up $0.73 at $13.86. The world's biggest discount brokerage by assets reported third-quarter profit of $0.16 a share.
Energy producers such as Exxon Mobil ahve advanced as oil prices increased. Crude oil for November delivery climbed 1.7% to $63.70 a barrel after concerns a storm may enter the Gulf of Mexico, disrupting oil output that's already 67% below normal following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Exxon, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, has gained $0.46 to $59.11. Valero Energy, the largest US oil refiner, has added $1.85 to $103.12.IFAonline
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