European stocks erased declines and posted their first back-to-back gains in two weeks amid better-than-estimated earnings.
British equities also reversed losses amid advances in the region’s retailers.
US stocks were on track for a second straight advance on Wednesday, as a climb in oil prices buoyed the energy sector and earnings from Morgan Stanley helped lift financials.
The Iseq was relatively flat – down 0.1 per cent – on moderate trading volumes on Wednesday.
Cidermaker C&C was among the top performers, up 2.3 per cent, ahead of its interim management statement next week. The spike in its shares followed a report in The Irish Times that renowned US value investor Charles Brandes had almost doubled his stake in the business to above 6 per cent.
Tullow Oil, which maintains its primary listing in London but is also traded in Dublin, rebounded by more than 3 per cent to close at €3.24, on the back of stiffening oil prices.
Kenmare Resources fell back by more than 6 per cent, wiping out recent gains. Insurer FBD was also off by close to 4 per cent, as the general insurance sector continues to struggle, blaming high compensation awards.
The FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.3 per cent, reversing a decline of as much as 0.3 per cent. The gauge has dropped 1.1 per cent from its high last week, failing to maintain a record level reached October 11th, and coming closer to its 50-day moving average.
Tesco, Wm Morrison Supermarkets and Next rose more than 2.7 per cent as European retailers climbed the most among industry groups.
Burberry Group rose 4.2 per cent, rebounding from its biggest slump in a year. Foxtons Group gained 2.9 per cent after saying it expects full-year revenue to be in line with market expectations.
Housebuilders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey climbed more than 2.5 per cent.
Among the stocks sliding on Wednesday, Reckitt Benckiser Group dropped 2.6 per cent after its sales missed estimates. Travis Perkins lost 4.4 per cent after saying it sees annual adjusted profit below consensus.
Laird slumped a record 49 per cent after the supplier of parts to Apple pared its earnings outlook. Software company Imagination Technologies Group dropped 6.3 per cent, the most since July.
led the region’s retailers higher after the German online company raised its profitability forecast and the French grocer reported sales that beat projections.
ASML Holding climbed 2.2 per cent after Europe's largest semiconductor-equipment maker forecast fourth-quarter profitability above analysts' expectations. Carmakers climbed amid a weaker euro.
Accor advanced 5 per cent, the most since June, after Europe's largest hotel operator posted an increase third-quarter sales.
Svenska Handelsbanken slid 1.6 per cent after its chief executive officer said that its regulatory capital equivalent of almost one quarter of risk-adjusted assets might not be enough to deal with future requirements.
Heading into the afternoon session, oil prices were up more than 2 per cent, with US crude touching a 15-month high after the government reported a sharp drop in domestic inventories for the sixth week in seven.
The energy sector jumped 2 per cent, the most in three weeks, with a 5.2 per cent rise in Halliburton also providing a boost after the world's No 2 oilfield services provider posted third-quarter results.
Morgan Stanley gained 1.8 per cent after posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit to round out a string of solid results from big US banks. The financial sector has risen in three of the past four sessions for a 1.8 per cent advance.
A disappointing revenue forecast from Intel capped the advance on Wall Street, however. The chipmaker tumbled 6.1 per cent as the biggest drag on each of the three major indexes. The PHLX semiconductor index shed 0.45 per cent. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)