Stock indices closed higher on a weaker euro. Concerns over Greece's further bailout policy and quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) still weighed on the euro. The ECB had started to purchase government bonds on Monday.
The ECB President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday that bond purchases should help to boost inflation and encourage investors to shift to riskier assets. He noted that quantitative easing was unconventional but "not unorthodox".
The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers continued to discuss proposed Greek economic reforms.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) released its estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the U.K. on Wednesday. The GDP estimate rose by 0.6% in three months to February, after a 0.6% growth in three months to January, which figure was revised down from a 0.7% increase.
Manufacturing production in the U.K. fell 0.5% in January, missing expectations for a 0.3% rise, after a 0.1% rise in December.
The decline was driven by lower output in the computer, electronic and optical sector. Output dropped by 9.5%, the biggest monthly decline since early 2002.
On a yearly basis, manufacturing production in the U.K. increased 1.9% in January, after a 2.6% rise in December. December's figure was revised up from a 2.4% gain.
Industrial production in the U.K. decreased 0.1% in January, missing forecasts of a 0.2% rise, after a 0.2% decline in December.
The U.K. oil and gas production rose 2.4% in January as production at North Sea oil and gas fields increased.
On a yearly basis, industrial production in the U.K. rose 1.3% in January, after a 0.8% gain in December. December's figure was revised up from a 0.5% rise.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,721.51 18.67 0.28 %
DAX 11,805.99 305.61 2.66 %
CAC 40 4,997.75 115.80 2.37 %