In London, falling oil prices cheered up investors and the FTSE 100 added 132.5 points (2.49%) to close at 5,452.7.
HBOS shares added 26.5p (12.18%) to 336.25p, while Legal & General shares went up 11.7 (12.11%) to 108.3p after first half profits exceeded expectations.
Man Group lost 48.5p (7.91%) to 565p, while John Wood Group shares dropped 21 (5.09%) to 391.25p.
Wall Street trading opened on a positive note, encouraged by stock recoveries in Europe, and the Dow Jones added 190 points (1.69%) to 11,474.42.
AIG shares made the biggest gains, up 2.08 (7.79%) to $28.77, while General Motors added 0.44 (4.36%) to $10.54.
Chevron Corp was the only share to lose value in early trading, with the falling price of oil affecting the firm, down 0.43 (0.52%) to $82.37.
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