- The European Central Bank kept its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday.
- Credit Suisse reported a net loss of 252 million Swiss francs ($275 million) as it digests the impact of the Archegos hedge fund scandal.
- U.S. initial jobless claims for last week came in at 547,000, which was below the Dow Jones estimate for 603,000 and a new low for the Covid-19 pandemic era.
LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Thursday as traders digested the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy decision.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by 0.7%, with the utilities sector jumping 2.2% to lead gains while insurance shares dropped 0.3%.
The European Central Bank kept its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday as traders looked for clues on when its massive monetary stimulus might start to be wound down.
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"Preserving favorable financing conditions over the pandemic period remains essential to reduce uncertainty and bolster confidence, thereby underpinning economic activity and safeguarding medium-term price stability," ECB President Christine Lagarde said at a press conference on Thursday.
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On Wall Street, U.S stocks were mixed following a strong day of gains as the market appeared stuck in a trading range with investors turning a blind eye on solid earnings and economic data.
Economic data released Thursday also gave investors a snapshot of the ongoing labor market recovery in the U.S. Initial jobless claims for last week came in at 547,000, which was below the Dow Jones estimate for 603,000 and a new low for the Covid-19 pandemic era.
Earnings were high on the agenda in Europe on Thursday with Nestle, SAP and Renault among the companies reporting.
Credit Suisse, meanwhile, reported a net loss of 252 million Swiss francs ($275 million) as it digests the impact of the Archegos hedge fund scandal. The Swiss lender's shares fell 2.1% by the market close.
Swedish bearings maker SKF slid 6.4% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after matching quarterly earnings forecasts.
Renault posted a 1.1% fall in first-quarter revenue as it navigates a turnaround effort and the global semiconductor shortage. Shares slid 1.3% lower.
Nestle reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in a decade, with organic sales rising 7.7% in the first quarter. The Swiss food group's shares climbed 2.9%.
Finnish sustainable technology firm Wartsila was the biggest mover on Thursday morning, soaring 15.1% after beating estimates on first-quarter orders despite missing profit forecasts.
Earnings and data releases continue to dictate U.S. market sentiment this week with more companies, including AT&T, American Airlines and Intel, among those reporting Thursday.
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- CNBC.com staff contributed reporting to this story