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Global stocks stay resilient after Paris attacks

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the morning of Nov 16, 2015 in New York City.

[New York] Major European bourses surged, while US stocks held their gains from the prior session as investors continued to show resilience after Friday's deadly terror attacks in Paris.

"It's clear that, at least for now, the majority of stocks globally remain unfazed by last week's terrorist attacks in Paris," said analyst Tony Cross at traders TrustNet Direct.

"The market has done a decent job of shrugging off geopolitical events in the last couple of years," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

London's FTSE 100 ended the day 2.0 per cent higher despite data showing negative British inflation for October.

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The French capital's benchmark CAC 40 index finished up 2.8 per cent and it was the same story in Germany as the DAX 30 index advanced 2.4 per cent.

US stocks finished near-flat after a choppy session, with the S&P 500 slipping a scant 0.1 per cent and Dow and Nasdaq rising by an even smaller fraction.

The muted performance in the US reflects uncertainty of what to expect from the Federal Reserve and mixed earnings from retailers ahead of the critical holiday shopping season, Ablin said.

"Investors don't really know which way to play this market," Ablin said.

Asian stock markets earlier advanced strongly, with Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all posting healthy gains. However, Shanghai edged down.

The dollar continued to strengthen after the US consumer price index rose 0.2 per cent in October, with pricing of key elements like health care and housing costs pushing higher.

The inflation data "helped the US dollar squeeze more juice out of its rally, taking it to seven-month peaks against the euro and a broad basket of currencies," said Joe Manimbo senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

While the Fed is moving toward tightening policy, weak economic data in Japan and Europe continue to feed speculation of more monetary stimulus.

Among individual stocks, giant US retailers Wal-Mart Stores and Home Depot both notched big gains following better-than-expected earnings. The results helped to offset disappointing earnings last week from Macy's and others that had depressed retail shares.

Industrial gas company Airgas surged 29.4 per cent on news it will be acquired by French rival Air Liquide for US$13.4 billion.