Europe Ends Higher, Asia Mixed

European stock markets closed higher on Thursday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange gained just one point, or 0.02%, to close at 4617.40, after a weak banking sector offset strength amongst mining, food retailers and pharmaceuticals. Barclays, HSBC, and HBOS fell 0.91%, 0.45% and 1.08% respectively. AstraZeneca gained 2.02% when it unveiled stronger than expected third-quarter margins and said despite the recent performance with Exanta, second-half performance was good. Kidde soared 17.41%, on takeover talks. The company confirmed it had rejected a bid approach. Germany's Siemens was mentioned as a possible interest party.

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