US and Europe shares gain on strong corporate results
Shares in the US and Europe have seen big gains following a raft of strong company results which have boosted hopes of a sustained economic recovery.
The US Dow Jones index closed at a near three year high - up 1.5% at 12,454 points - while the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 closed up 2% at 6,013.01.
Companies such as Goldman Sachs, Intel and IBM reported strong results on Tuesday, and results from Apple and American Express are due on Wednesday.
Stock markets in Germany and France also saw strong gains.
In the UK, mining shares saw strong rises as the prices of metals rose. Gold hit a record price of more than $1,500 an ounce.
UK chipmaker Arm Holdings also gained after US rival Intel said first-quarter earnings had risen by 29% to $3.16bn (£1.95bn).
Fellow chipmakers in Europe joined the upwards trend. Germany's Infineon rose 4% and STMicroelectronics was more than 5% higher in Paris.
Shares in UK film studio Pinewood Shepperton, the home of Harry Potter and James Bond, rose almost 6% after it received an approach from a possible second bidder.
Italian car maker Fiat rose 4% after it reported a trading profit of 251m euros, slightly above analysts' forecasts.
Fellow vehicle manufacturer Peugeot was also up more than 4% after it revealed a 10% rise in revenues in the first quarter of the year compared with a year earlier.
Sales were also up almost 10% at L'Oreal, the world's biggest cosmetics group. Its shares rose 2.8% as it reported particularly strong growth in the US and emerging markets.
Shares in beauty and fashion group LVMH benefited for the second day from better-than-expected revenues, revealed on Tuesday. Its shares closed up 2.3%.