Stock indices closed higher on comments by the European Central Bank's (ECB) President Mario Draghi. He said at a press conference that the value of the ECB's asset-buying programme will be discussed at the monetary policy meeting in December. He noted that the Governing Council discussed the possibility to cut interest rates, but the decision was not made. Draghi pointed out that the central bank will expand its asset-buying programme if needed to boost inflation toward the 2% target.
Earlier, the ECB kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.05%.
Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was mixed. The French statistical office Insee released its manufacturing confidence index for France on Thursday. The French manufacturing confidence index decreased to 103 in October from 104 in September. September's reading was the highest level since August 2011.
The Spanish statistical office INE released its labour market figures on Thursday. The number of registered unemployed people fell by 298,200 in the third quarter to 4.85 million.
The unemployment rate was 21.2% in the third quarter, down from 22.4% in the second quarter. It was the lowest level in four years.
The Office for National Statistics released its retail sales data for the U.K. on Thursday. Retail sales in the U.K. increased 1.9% in September, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a 0.4% decline in August. August's figure was revised down from a 0.2% increase.
The Rugby World Cup in England and Wales supported the retail sales in September.
Food prices climbed 2.3% in September. It was the highest gain since April 2014.
On a yearly basis, retail sales in the U.K. climbed 6.5% in September, beating forecasts of 4.8% increase, after a 3.5% rise in August. August's figure was revised down from a 3.7% gain.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,376.28 27.86 0.44 %
DAX 10,491.97 253.87 2.48 %
CAC 40 4,802.18 107.08 2.28 %