- US durable goods orders increase
- US consumer confidence rises
- Draghi says ECB ready to act
FTSE 100: 0.43%
CAC 40: 0.06%
FTSE MIB: -0.42%
IBEX 35: 0.25%
Stoxx 600: 0.23%
European stocks were mostly higher by the end of trading following the release of a batch of upbeat US data.
US durable goods orders increased 0.8% over the month in April following a 3.6% climb a month earlier, surprising analysts who had expected a 0.7% drop.
The Conference Board's US consumer confidence index edged up to 83 in May from 81.7 in April, in line with expectations.
Markit's services purchasing managers' index jumped to 58.4 in May from 55 a month before, beating the forecast of 54.4. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
"Consumer confidence is extremely important to the US economy as spending contributes a significant amount to final GDP," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari UK.
"The services PMI reading is equally important as services account for more than two thirds of US GDP."
ECB ready to act, says Draghi
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi has said the monetary authority was ready to act with conventional and targeted measures to combat low prices in the Eurozone.
"What we need to be particularly watchful for at the moment is, in my view, the potential for a negative spiral to take hold between low inflation, falling inflation expectations and credit, in particular in stressed countries," he said at the ECB's new Forum on Central Banking at Sintra in Portugal.
The ECB is expected to introduce new policy at its June meeting.
JP Morgan analyst Greg Fuzesi said: "Overall, this speech is consistent with the ECB cutting rates in June and taking some targeted measures to support bank lending (some ABS purchases and/or some long-term lending to banks).
"The speech is also consistent with the door to quantitative easing being left open. But, it is less clear whether these comments signal a very big policy shift."
Lloyds Banking Group advanced after saying it will sell a 25% stake in its TSB consumer bank in an initial public offering next month.
AstraZeneca declined as US drugmaker Pfizer ended its six-month effort to buy the UK company after offering £69.4bn.
Aveva Group rallied after the UK maker of computer software posted annual pre-tax profits that beat analysts' estimates.
Ophir Energy slumped after the oil and gas explorer said one of its wells offshore Gabon had poor reservoir characteristics.
Accor jumped after agreeing to buy hotels in Germany and the Netherlands for about €900m.
The euro fell 0.18% to $1.3621.
Brent crude futures dropped $0.218 to $110.080 per barrel, according to the ICE.