On the corporate news front Credit Suisse Group reported its worst annual loss since the global financial crisis in 2008, sending its shares lower.
This was countered by better-than-expected earnings from Siemens and Britain’s AstraZeneca, helping to pierce uncertainty over the interest rate outlook.
A number of Federal Reserve speakers echoed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday in saying that interest rates are set to go higher, capping risk sentiment, ahead of U.S. inflation data next week.
Sweden’s central bank on Thursday raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 3%, and forecast further tightening in the spring.
The STOXX index of European shares rose 0.8%, after touching nine-month highs on Wednesday as investors pinned hopes on peaking inflation and a major recession now looking less likely on the continent.
“European markets are still fairly positive as the case for investing in the U.S. is much lower because valuations…