- The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by 0.9%, with travel and leisure shares climbing 1.8% to lead gains.
- In the U.K., the FTSE 100 rose after the Bank of England kept its monetary policy unchanged but vowed to monitor rising inflation.
- British food delivery firm Deliveroo rose 9% after a U.K. court ruled that its couriers are self-employed.
LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors reacted to the latest decision from the Bank of England, and monitored various data releases.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by 0.9%, with travel and leisure shares climbing 1.8% to lead gains, while telecoms bucked the upward trend to slide 0.1% lower.
In the U.K., the FTSE 100 rose after the Bank of England kept its monetary policy unchanged but vowed to monitor rising inflation. The index added to earlier gains and was trading around 0.5% by the close. The British pound was down about 0.4% versus the dollar.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the main lending rate at a historic low of 0.1%, and a majority voted to maintain asset purchases at the current level of £895 billion ($1.24 trillion).
It comes amid a choppy week for markets, which has seen global stocks whipsaw as investors monitor the outlook for inflation and central bank policy.
On Wall Street, the major stock indexes traded higher Thursday, with the S&P 500 surpassing its record high set a week ago.
Despite a pause for breath in the U.S. Wednesday, the country's three major indexes are up more than 1% this week, rallying from a sell-off last week after the Federal Reserve heightened inflation expectations and forecast rate hikes as soon as 2023.
Comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell during a Congressional testimony Tuesday reiterated that inflation pressures should be temporary, which seemed to soothe market sentiment.
Data out Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims totaled 411,000 for the week ended June 19, higher than an estimate of 380,000 from economists polled by Dow Jones.
Meanwhile, the Fed's annual bank stress test results are scheduled for release after the bell on Thursday. The test examines how banks could fare during various hypothetical economic downturns.
Back in Europe, Germany's Ifo Institute business climate index came in at 101.8 in June, slightly outstripping a consensus forecast of 100.6 from economists polled by Reuters.
In terms of individual share price movement, Switzerland's Tecan surged nearly 11% to the top of the Stoxx 600 after announcing the $1 billion acquisition of Paramit Corporation.
British food delivery firm Deliveroo was another top performer, rising 9% after a U.K. court ruled that its couriers are self-employed.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Switzerland's Vifor Pharma fell 5% after announcing that it would revise a key study after the pandemic affected the recruitment of participants, with data now expected in the second half of 2022.
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- CNBC's Ryan Browne and Hannah Miao contributed reporting to this story.