European shares reached a new 5-1/2 year high today as a third weekly gain for Portuguese and Spanish bonds fed improved sentiment in the region’s Mediterranean rim. Lackluster results from some of Wall Street’s big names on Thursday had sapped investors’ mood overnight, but Europe’s budding recovery offered a bit of countervailing optimism. After another week of steady progress, European shares were on the ascent again as they climbed 0.5 percent. London’s FTSE, Paris’s CAC 40 and Frankfurt’s Dax all made gains, and bourses in Portugal, Italy and Spain continued their rise to leave the region heading for its fourth week of gains in the past five weeks. European markets clearly are on the upswing.