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The FTSE 100 tops the board, buoyed by a banking sector in rude health.
Lufthansa leads the Frankfurt benchmark higher, with Deutsche Bank just behind on talk of Qatar support for a fundraising.
Germany's Lufthansa said it expects better full-year profits as investors prepare for third-quarter earnings from American Airlines.
European stock markets are modestly higher in the Thursday session ahead of a key policy meeting at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.