(MENAFN - AFP) European equities mostly rose on Wednesday with sentiment lifted by a raft of largely positive company results, but London slid on badly-received earnings from British bank Barclays and energy firm BG Group.
Frankfurt's benchmark DAX 30 index of top companies advanced 0.54 percent to 7,323.40 points and in Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.18 percent to 3,465.65 points in early afternoon deals.
On the downside, London's FTSE 100 index dropped 0.27 percent to 5,835.08 points.
Trading was boosted by gains in Asia, but volumes were thin, with the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq exchange due to reopen after Hurricane Sandy had forced a two-day emergency shutdown.
"Relatively buoyant mood across European markets today with mainland and peripheral indices gathering steam on respectable earnings from the likes of Total, GDF Suez and airlines Lufthansa and Air France-KLM," said ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi.
Gains were tempered by official data showing that the unemployment rate in the 17-state eurozone had hit a new high level of 11.6 percent in September.
"As such, investors have shrugged off the labour market data and instead amped up appetite for risk on the last day of October," added Siddiqi.
In Paris, Total shares gained 1.50 percent to 39.56 euros.
The French oil group said that adjusted third-quarter net profit -- excluding changes in inventory values -- spiked 20 percent to 3.348 billion euros, boosted by high oil prices and improved refining margins in Europe.
Shares in steelmaker ArcelorMittal fell 4.63 percent to 11.65 euros after the company reported a plunge into third-quarter loss and cut its dividend owing to weak demand in China and Europe.
GDF Suez shares climbed 0.85 percent to 17.86 euros after posting a 5.8-percent hike in its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the first nine months of the year.
Europe's airline sector also flew into focus, with Air France-KLM and Lufthansa posting better-than-expected results for the third quarter. Shares increased by 6.7 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.
In London, BG Group shares plunged 17.69 percent to 1,094.25 pence after the firm cut its production growth forecast for 2012 to just three percent, and despite a key deal 1.93-billion deal to sell assets to China's CNOOC.
BG added that output would not grow as expected next year, and blamed problems at oil and gas fields in Britain and Egypt, and low US natural gas prices.
Barclays bank shares sank 3.66 percent to 230.05 pence after announcing that it fell into a nine-month net loss because of huge accounting charges.
The lender also revealed that it faced two new investigations in the United States, adding to a string of probes that have hit the bank's reputation.
Investors meanwhile took their cue from gains across Asia, with Tokyo rebounding from the previous day's losses as dealers welcomed the Bank of Japan's latest 11 trillion yen (138 billion) stimulus.
Hong Kong stocks rallied 1.0 percent, Tokyo rose 0.98 percent, Sydney gained 0.70 percent and Seoul was 0.66 percent higher. Shanghai closed up 0.32 percent.
Eyes are now on the release of Chinese manufacturing activity data on Thursday and US non-farm payrolls figures on Friday.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro drifted upwards to 1.3012 from 1.2959 late in New York on Tuesday. Gold prices increased to 1,718.43 an ounce from 1,710 an ounce on the London Bullion Market.