Investing.com - European stocks were higher on Thursday, supported by indications of a possible rate cut by the European Central Bank, although global growth concerns continued to weigh on market sentiment.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.31%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.46%, while Germany's DAX 30 edged up 0.14%.
ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said Wednesday that the bank could cut interest rates if economic data indicated that it was warranted.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said continued monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan was expected to continue to support growth in the U.S. and Japan, while the euro zone still posed the greatest threat to a recovery in the global economy.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas advanced 0.52% and 1.57%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank added 0.10%.
Peripheral lenders added to gains, with Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA rising 0.39% and 0.30%, while Italy's Unicredit climbed 0.58%.
Elsewhere, Carrefour gained 0.48% after France's biggest retailer reported first-quarter revenue of EUR20.8 billion, in line with analyst estimates.
In London, FTSE 100 added 0.05%, ahead of U.K. retail sales data.
Among earnings, Diageo Plc tumbled 1.27% after the distiller reported third-quarter sales that missed predictions as volumes dropped amid slowing European demand.
Meanwhile, U.K. lenders trended broadly lower, as shares in HSBC Holdings inched down 0.01% and Barclays slipped 0.15%, while Lloyds Banking declined 0.44% and the Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.81%.
Mining stocks were also on the downside, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto sliding 0.35% and 0.53%, while Rangold Resources and Eurasian Natural Resources plunged 2.33% and 4.48% respectively.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.09% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.07% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.15% increase.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on initial jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index.
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