Investing.com - European stocks were mixed to higher on Thursday, although expectations for the Federal Reserve to scale back its bond-buying program continued to weigh.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 edged up 0.09%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.26%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased 0.07%.
Investors were looking ahead to the weekly U.S. report on jobless claims later in the global day amid ongoing speculation over whether the Federal Reserve is moving closer to scaling back its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.
Markets were also jittery amid speculation on whether the European Central Bank will implement negative interest rates on deposits following recent comments by senior bank officials.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas advanced 0.68% and 0.91%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank added 0.34%.
Peripheral lenders added to gains, with Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander edging up 0.14% and 0.18% respectively, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit climbed 0.84% and 0.93%.
On the downside, Aeroports de Paris slid 0.30% after French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the government plans to sell as many as 10 million shares in the company.
Elsewhere, Fiat edged down 0.29% amid reports the Italian auto maker is in financing talks with a pool of banks to buy the 41.5% Chrysler stake that is held by the United Auto Workers' retiree health-care trust and to refinance the two automakers' debt.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 added 0.25%, supported by gains in the mining sector.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw shares rally 0.78% and 1.40% respectively, while Anglo American jumped 1.26% and Polymetal surged 2.74%.
Financial stocks were also on the upside, as HSBC Holdings climbed 0.45% and Barclays gained 0.59%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking rallied 1.09% and 1.24%.
In addition, Glaxo rose 0.29% after the U.K. drugmaker won approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its Tafinlar and Mekinist drugs for patients with melanoma that has spread or can't be surgically removed.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.07% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.08% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.21% decline.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on pending home sales.
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