UK stocks : FTSE 100 gains 0.5 pct after early falls
Banks gained 0.9 and are now up more nearly 2.5 percent since the previous session's lows, boosted by forecast-beating earnings from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs on Wednesday.
Appetite for banks was maintained despite hits to the profits of both Citigroup and Bank of America, while early selling pressure on Rio Tinto reduced dramatically throughout the day to lift the main weight on the index.
The heavyweight miner had been down as much as 5 percent after it announced a $14 billion non-cash impairment charge and the resignation of CEO Tom Albanese.
Rio closed only 0.5 percent lower, while Dutch technology company ASML turned a 7 percent fall into a 7 percent gain after its profit update. Such turnarounds scared off sellers in the market even before the Citigroup and Bank of America results, said Andy Ash, head of sales at Monument Securities.
"The reversal had already happened before the U.S. got in. I think it's more simply the way Rio and ASML behaved today," he said.
"There's not a lot of business behind it, but we saw a couple of stocks being hammered first thing in the morning and then suddenly they reversed. That's probably got people a little bit scared and they've followed it."
Rio benefited as several banks issued notes saying that the miner's dip provided a buying opportunity.
"The market will perceive today's write-downs and management changes
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