The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Thursday trading as rising health care and luxury goods stocks helped buoy the markets.
In economic news, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose 1.3% in the euro area (EA19) and 1.2% in the EU28 in May compared with April, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April, industrial production fell by 0.8% in both zones.
The highest monthly increases in industrial production were registered in Lithuania (+11.6%), Sweden (+3.4%) and Ireland (+3.2%), and the largest decreases were in Denmark (-2.8%) and Portugal (-2.0%)
Compared with May 2017, industrial production increased 2.4% in both zones during the month. The highest annual increases in industrial production were registered in Poland (+7.8%), Ireland (+7.3%) and Slovenia (+5.9%), and the largest decreases were reported in Malta (-6.3%), Denmark (-3.3%) and Portugal (-2.6%).
In Germany, consumer prices were 2.1% higher in June than during the same month last year, as the inflation rate, measured by the consumer price index, was above 2% for the second consecutive month, according to The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
Destatis said the development of energy product prices had a considerable effect on the inflation rate in June as energy prices rose 6.4% year-on-year. Heating oil prices rose 30.3% from June 2017, which was mainly due to the relatively low prices a year earlier, and motor fuel prices were up 11.3%.
Compared with May, the consumer price index rose 0.1% in June due to seasonal price increases for air tickets (+2.7%), package holidays (+2.5%) and accommodation services (+1.4%).
Destatis also reported that German local courts reported 1,729 business insolvencies in April, a 9.9% increase compared with April 2017. The increase was attributed to the Easter holiday being early this year so that, compared with 2017, courts had more working days, and could therefore process more requests for opening insolvency proceedings.
And in France, the consumer prices index ( CPI ) in June was stable over a month, after an rising 0.4% in May, and 0.2% in April, according to the Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The stability was a result of a rise in energy prices, which was offset by a downturn in food prices, which declined 0.2%. Seasonally adjusted, consumer prices were stable after increasing 0.3% in May.
June consumer prices rose 2.0% compared to the same month last year. Year on year, core inflation slightly decelerated, rising 0.8% after gaining 1.0% in the previous month.
In equities, pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, and media company Sky led the FTSE higher in London, rising 3.5% and 3.4% respectively, followed by software firm Micro Focus International, and food and support services provider Compass Group, which were up 3.2% and 3.1%. Travel company TUI, and airline operator EasyJet climbed 2.8% and 2.6%, while health care company NMC Health, and bookmaking business Paddy Power Betfair each closed 2.5% higher.
In Frankfurt, kidney dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care, and health care company Fresenius SE led the DAX into positive territory, climbing 2.1% and 1.9%, followed by industrial gases company Linde, and chemical and consumer goods company Beiersdorf, which were up 1.8% and 1.5%. Software firm SAP was up 1.4%, while industrial group ThyssenKrupp gained 1.3%.
In Paris, media company Vivendi led the CAC higher, rising 5.4%, followed by steel and mining company ArcelorMittal, and aerospace and defense firm Safran, which increased 2.9% each. Luxury goods company Kering climbed 2.8%, while tire maker Michelin, and airplane maker Airbus were up 2.1% and 1.9% respectively.
The FTSE gained 0.78%, the DAX rose 0.61%, and the CAC-40 increased 0.97%.