BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - European markets were higher Thursday with shares in France leading the region. Investors shrugged off mixed economic data amid hopes that central bank policies will remain highly accommodative for the next year.
Positive economic news from the US overshadowed concerns about the pace of Europe's recovery.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi may hint at additional stimulus at a Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming tomorrow.
The CAC 40 is up 1.10% while Germany's DAX is up 0.84% and London'sFTSE 100 is up 0.28%.
The Euro Stoxx 50 Index of European blue chip shares was up 1.28%, and is now in positive territory for the year-to-date.
Air Berlin soared 9.6%. The airline Wednesday reported a turnaround to profit in the second quarter, and announced a restructuring program aimed at returning it to sustainable profitability.
GEA Group gained 2.8%. The system provider for food and energy processes announced a new group structure, adding that its implementation measures would see the elimination of around 1000 full-time equivalents over the next 2-3 years.
RTL Group lost 7%. The Luxembourg-based broadcaster reported a sharp decline in first-half profit, and trimmed full year its forecast for revenue and EBITA.
Kazakhmys, which announced first-half results, is fell 5.6% in London.
Ahold slipped 1% in Amsterdam. The supermarket chain reported lower second-quarter profit.
In economic news, Germany's private sector growth slowed in August as contraction in manufacturing deepened further, flash data from Markit Economics showed. The composite output index dropped to 54.9 in August from 55.7 in July.
The Eurozone private sector growth slowed more than expected in August as manufacturing posted its weakest expansion in 13 months, flash data from Markit Economics showed.
UK retail sales grew less than expected in July as household goods store sales deteriorated.
In the US, the Philadelphia Fed reported its manufacturing index rose to the best level since March 2011.