Europe and Asia End Higher

European stock markets closed higher on Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 gained 19.40 points, or 0.42%, to close at 4693.20. Ryanair skyrocketed 15.48% after posting a 18% rise in net income for the first-half of the year, higher than expected, with passenger growth up by 24%. Elsewhere in the sector, airport operator BAA closed 0.35% higher after reporting an 11.4% rise in operating profit for the first-half of the year, but slightly below consensus. British Airways gained 1.5% on lower oil prices while BP and Shell traded lower. Sainsbury fell 1.96% after a member of the Sainsbury family yesterday rebutted speculation about the group and backed Justin King, chief executive, to turn the group around.

Germany's DAX gained 24.93 points, or 0.62%, to close at 4037.57. Frankfurt posted gains on the day and a close above the 4000 mark helped by lower oil and optimism that the US election will not be a drawn out affair. Lufthansa and TUI benefited from lower WTI December futures, which broke beneath the $50 level. MAN gained 2.1% on reports that its subsidiary MAN Roland is set to reach an agreement with employees over cost cutting measures. Thyssen benefited from steel-industry analyst MEPS's predictions that global steel production will exceed one billion metric tons this year, boosting inventories. FMC reported third-quarter profit rose 17% after it added patients and the use of disposable filters helped increase revenue per treatment. VW rose 2.1% on news that talks with unions might be finally yielding results.

In France, the CAC-40 gained 31.77 points, or 0.85%, to close at 3765.84, just half a point short of intraday peaks, supported by Sanofi-Aventis, financials and oil. China offered opportunities for a number of French groups. EADS strengthened ties with the country, and aims to become a favored partner of China. Carrefour is pursuing aggressive expansion plans in Asia's second biggest economy, and intends to open 15 new stores this year, adding to the 53 hypermarkets it already has there.

Asian markets ended higher on improved market sentiment following a sharp decline in oil prices, with Japan's Nikkei average gaining 153.10 points, or 1.43%, to close at 10887.81. Banking names rose, with Mizuho Financial Group jumping nearly 4% after the bank raised its half-year profit estimate by two-thirds due to lower-than-expected bad loans write-offs. But Toyota Motor declined 1.46% after the carmaker posted a surprise drop in quarterly profits, hurt by a strong yen and rising materials costs.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 214.59 points, or 1.64%, to close at 13,308.74, driven by industrial names like Yue Yuen and COSCO Pacific.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 12.71 points, or 0.14%, to close at 8,870.94.

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