European stocks ended higher on Friday, with Germany's DAX index hitting a new intraday high one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average index in the US rose to a record level.
The DAX 30 index rose as high as 8,151.57 early in the session, surpassing the previous high of 8,136.16 from 2000, before closing up 0.5 percent at 8,092.77. The French CAC-40 index rose 0.2 percent to 6,117.96 and the UK's FTSE 100 index added 0.3 percent to 6,716.70.
On Thursday, the Dow industrials hit a new high as traders cheered deal news and sales updates. US shares were mixed in early trading on Friday.
Chemicals group BASF was the top gainer in the German index, up 1.9 percent after UBS lifted its price target on the stock. Other strong gainers in Frankfurt included technology firm SAP, up 1 percent, and insurer Allianz up 1.2 percent.
Heino Ruland, a strategist at Steubing in Frankfurt, attributed the gains in the German stock market to Thursday's US rally.
Investors looked for bargains in the financial services sector after a recent subprime-related selloff. Deutsche Bank shares rose 1.5 percent and Munich Re shares increased 0.7 percent.
Shares in Man Group, the world's largest listed hedge fund manager, rose 3 percent in London, while shares of insurer Old Mutual added 2.1 percent.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays shares rose more than 0.8 percent after the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that ABN Amro is allowed to sell its LaSalle business to Bank of America without a shareholder vote. Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are rivals to buy ABN Amro.
Shares in mining giant Rio Tinto fell 2.1 percent after Alcoa Inc. said late on Thursday that it has withdrawn its US$27 billion offer for Alcan Inc. Alcoa made the decision after Rio Tinto came forward with a pricier bid early on Thursday, dashing speculation the two metals giants could get into a bidding war over the world's third-largest aluminum producer.
Other miners were lower, with BHP Billiton down 1.7 percent and Lonmin down 1.7 percent.