European stocks joined an overnight rally in the U.S. and in Asia on Thursday, with the banking sector among the best performers amid anticipations that the European Central Bank may soon announce ending of its stimulus program.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index added 0.4 percent, while the DAX index in Germany gained 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 soared 0.7 percent.
The UK's FTSE 100 inched up 0.2 percent at the open while the London Stock Exchange opened later due to a “technical issue”.
The banking sector jumped 1.4 percent as the euro was firm at almost two-week peak and the yield on Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond touched its own two-week top.
Shares of Remy Cointreau slipped 4.7 percent despite annual profits above forecasts.