- US jobs data lifts economic outlook
- European leaders begin summit in Brussels
- ECB says monetary policy should remain accommodative
FTSE Mibtel 30: 2.45%
Ibex 35: 1.88%
Stoxx 600: 1.08%
European equities climbed Thursday as positive US data raised hopes of a global economic recovery.
Markets reacted positively to data out from the Labor Department which revealed a reduction in unemployment claims.
The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits averaged 346,750 over the past four weeks, the lowest level since March 2008.
The report signalled a sign of improvement in the economy as it was expected to lift consumer spending.
It comes as the country works to address its budget deficit and spending cuts.
Europe is also continuing a mission to tackle its debt crisis. Leaders of the bloc kicked off a two-day summit in Brussels to discuss the region's budget policies with differences over austerity expected.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the agenda would look at a broad range of issues.
"We will discuss growth and employment and how to fight the present economic deterioration in Europe," he told reporters, according to Reuters.
ECB stresses need for low inflation
The European Central Bank (ECB) repeated that inflation should remain low in the Eurozone as it continues to see risks for region's economy.
ECB council member Erkki Liikanen said it would allow the monetary policy stance to remain accommodative.
However, he said the ECB's policies were not enough to resolve the financial crisis. Gradual recovery is still expected in the second half of this year.
Among the European countries in crisis, Spain may decide to personalise the deficit targets for each of the country's 17 autonomous regions.
The Spanish regions all currently have a deficit target of 1.5%, according to sources cited by El Pais.
"In a matter of days, Eurostat will confirm Spain's deficit and when it does we'll have a different path for deficit targets, as suggested by European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn," Spain Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said.
Ocado Group advances on Morrison talks
Ocado Group's shares
soared as the online grocer confirmed it was in talks to help Morrison Supermarkets launch a shopping website next year.
BMW declined after the car maker reported a drop in profitability at its auto unit as it invests in expanding offerings to keep up with competition.
UBS advanced despite landing itself in hot water for announcing a big bonus payment to its boss amid job cuts at the Swiss bank.
Single currency rises
The euro/dollar edged up 0.25% to 1.2993, recovering slightly from a midday slump.
Front month Brent crude future rose by 0.832% to the 109.430 dollar
mark on the ICE.