Investing.com - European stocks were higher on Thursday, after the release of positive German and French economic data and amid new hopes for progress on a financial aid deal for Greece.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.63%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.46%, while Germany’s DAX 30 advanced 0.77%.
Markit research group said that Germany's manufacturing purchasing managers' index improved to 46.8 in November from 46.0 the previous month, beating expectations for a decline to 45.9.
Germany's service sector PMI deteriorated however to 48.0 this month from 48.4 in October, disappointing expectations for a rise to 48.5.
In France, the manufacturing PMI improved more-than-expected to 44.7 in November from 43.7 the previous month, while the service sector PMI rose to 46.1 from 44.6.
Sentiment also found support after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said an agreement to unlock a delayed bailout installment for Greece was still possible when euro zone finance ministers resume talks on Monday.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale advanced 1.11% and 0.71%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank surged 1.55% and 2.79% respectively.
Peripheral lenders also posted sharp gains, with Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit rallying 0.88% and 1.21%, while Spain's BBVA and Banco Santander climbed 0.87% and 1.23%.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.45%, boosted by gains in oil and mining stocks.
Oil and gas major Anglo American saw shares jump 1.75%, while rival BP added 0.15%.
Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were also on the upside, with shares advancing 0.68% and 0.84%, while Eurasian Natural Resources rallied 1.73% and steel maker Evraz surged 3.25%.
In the financial sector, HSBC Holdings edged up 0.10% and the Royal Bank of Scotland added 0.23%, while Barclays rose 0.32%. Lloyds Banking underperformed, with shares slipping 0.13%.
Elsewhere, SABMiller soared 5.06% after saying that earnings rose 17% to USD3.17 billion, beating analysts' estimates.
EasyJet also added to gains, climbing 1.59%, after Barclays raised Europe's second-biggest discount airline to equalweight from underweight, saying the company improved both "revenue and non-fuel cost fundamentals."
In the U.S., equity markets were to remain closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Also Thursday, a report showed that China’s preliminary HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.4 in November, up from a final reading of 49.5 in October. The data eased concerns over a slowdown in the world’s largest economy.