European markets hit a one-month closing high this evening on improved sentiment following a jump in JPMorgan Chase's profits.

In London, the FTSE ended up 15 points (0.4%) at 4,362, with Standard Life up almost 3% to just under 192p. In Paris the CAC closed 0.9% higher at 3,200, while Frankfurt's DAX rose 0.6% to 4,957.

In Dublin, the ISEQ closed up five points at 2,681. Elan gained 31 cent to €5.20 after good results from its Tysabri partner Biogen, but Smurfit Kappa fell 29 cent to €3.40. Building stocks performed well, with Grafton gaining 13 cent to €2.73 and Kingspan up 16 cent to €4.46.

US stocks went in and out of positive territory as a looming bankruptcy at major lender CIT Group overshadowed a flurry of positive company results. The Dow Jones was up nine points at 8,625, while the Nasdaq was up four at 1,867.

Earlier, Japanese share prices closed up 75 points to 9,344, lifted by gains on Wall Street the previous night. The Hang Seng gained 103 points to 18,362.