- BoE votes unanimously on policy, minutes show
- Bank of Spain lifts economic forecast
- Russia faces further EU sanctions
FTSE 100: 0.12%
CAC 40: 0.23%
FTSE MIB: -0.46%
IBEX 35: -0.10%
Stoxx 600: 0.23%
European stocks gained as minutes from the Bank of England's (BoE) last meeting showed policymakers voted unanimously on its decision to keep interest rates unchanged.
All nine of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members at the July 9-10th meeting agreed to maintain the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.5% and asset purchases at £375bn.
While the MPC noted the pick-up in economic recovery, it said there was still too much uncertainty surrounding the level of spare capacity and that wage growth was still weak in comparison to rising employment.
The Bank added that MPC members had "no pre-set timing" for the first increase in interest rates, which would be driven by data.
Later on will be the release of Eurozone consumer confidence data. The sentiment index is expected to remain unchanged at -7.5 in July.
In a boost to markets, the Bank of Spain (BoS) forecast an acceleration in the Spanish economy for this year and next thanks to the improving financial conditions, labour market and consumer confidence.
In its monthly bulletin today, the central bank said it expects gross domestic product growth to pick up to 0.5% in the second quarter from the 0.4% expansion registered in the first three months of the year. For the full year 2014, the BoS lifted its estimate by one-tenth to 1.3% and for 2015 raised its estimate to 2% from 1.5%.
The European Union (EU) foreign ministers yesterday agreed on a draft imposing tougher sanctions against Russian entities and individuals after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine.
A new sanctions list naming individuals and organisations will be drawn up by the EU by Thursday.
Daimler advanced after posting second-quarter profit that beat market forecasts.
Telenor edged higher after the largest phone company in the Nordic region said it expects this year's profit margin to improve from 2013.
Akzo Nobel gained after reporting second-quarter profit that exceeded expectations.
ABB declined after the Swiss maker of robots and power transformers reported quarterly earnings that fell short of analysts' estimates.
Deutsche Bank slumped after The Wall Street Journal said that an examination by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York claims the company's US operations produced "inaccurate and unreliable" financial reports.
The euro rose 0.04% to $1.3472.
Brent crude futures increased 0.279% to $107.63 per barrel, according to the ICE.