All three of Wall Street's main indices notched record closes on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to the start of earnings season.
Weakness in the single currency drove further gains in shares on the Continent, helping to offset weakness in the Utilities space as bond yields advanced.
Cyclicals were clearly in the lead come Tuesday, against a backdrop of rising government bond yields worldwide.
London stocks notched up a record closing high on Tuesday as retailers were boosted by a strong Christmas trading update from Morrisons and strong supermarket industry data.
Supermarket shares were the toast of the FTSE 100 as new figures showed they notched up the busiest shopping day ever recorded on the Friday before Christmas, selling £1bn more groceries than the year before.
Wall Street's main market gauges were trading mostly higher, propelled by an outsized move in lenders' shares as longer-term interest rates moved towards closer towards their 2017 highs after the Bank of Japan sprang a bit of a surprise overnight.
AIM-listed engineer TP Group said it had won a £0. 9m contract from an unnamed defence client to overhaul an atmosphere management system on an operational submarine.
The UK parliament could vote in favour of rejoining the EU customs union after Brexit without further legislation, a Treasury minister admitted to MPs.
Parliament's powerful Treasury select committee has demanded the government clarify how 130,000 UK firms will be affected by post-Brexit tax rules that will see them paying VAT up front on EU imports.
Spirits distilling company Stock Spirits Group announced that momentum from its strong first half had carried on to the second, with the firm expecting results for the full-year to come in slightly ahead of expectations.
Ineon, the petrochemicals group owned by Jim Ratcliffe, has applied for a judicial review of the Scottish government's decision to ban fracking announced in October.
Brownfield land and property development firm Harworth Group returned another strong operational performance in the second half of its trading year.
Chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, offered a forecast for US economic growth that was comfortably ahead of even the most optimistic projections from economists.
Shares in restaurant owner Tasty fell almost 9% on Tuesday as the company warned of a “further deterioration” in 2018 trading.
The Republican- controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected on Monday the Trump administration's plans to breathe new life into the country's coal and nuclear power plants through subsidies.
Cybersecurity software provider Osirium Technologies confirmed that trading in the calendar year had continued to improve as hoped, and that results would be in line with market expectations.
The coalition government of Belgium was said to be at risk of collapse over a scandal regarding the forced repatriation of more than 100 Sudanese nationals.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May completed her painful reshuffle on Monday, appointing some new faces to junior posts .
Mothercare: JP Morgan downgrades to underweight with a target price of 40p.
North Korea and South Korea are embracing talks aimed at improving relations between the two countries.