Europe Closes Higher

European stock markets were higher on Friday as Wall Street gained on an Apple share split. Asian markets were mostly closed

European stock markets were higher on Friday as Wall Street shook off early lethargy after Apple disclosed it was announcing a share split. In London, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 gained 44.20 points, or 0.88%, to close at 5044.20. The FTSE closed above 5,000 on the back of a rise in steelmaker Corus and renewed M&A talk. Wall Street traded higher as news of Apple's stock split offsets Dell's poor revenue outlook. Cadbury led the FTSE100 on talk that it may be the subject of a bid, possibly from Kraft or Nestle. In the tobacco sector, Gallaher was up 1.91% on takeover speculation, with The Independent mentioning Japan Tobacco as a possible buyer. Manchester United has agreed to let Malcolm Glazer carry out due diligence ahead of his likely 800 million pound bid, the Financial Times reported. The Guardian said U.S. discount retailer Target has decided to build a declarable holding in supermarket group Sainsbury via market purchases. Marks & Spencer gained 2.07% after an upgrade from Lehman.

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