European Markets at Close Report - February 27, 2015: Europe shares close to finish higher ahead of QE
Europe shares close to finish higher ahead of QE
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed 0.27 percent higher after some positive earnings news, hitting levels not seen since 2007. European stock markets have logged their best to start to the year since regional benchmarks began in 1986, according to Reuters.
Shares of Bank of Ireland surged as much as 8 percent as it reported a swing to full-year profit on Friday morning. Airbus shares also gained, over 7 percent, after paying out a record dividend and announcing a jump in profits. Property website Rightmove saw its shares rocketed 13 percent following the announcement of a profit rise at the firm. It also highlighted that more estate agents were using the service.
Airlines company IAG bounced 4 percent higher as it upgraded its 2015 profit forecasts. Meanwhile, shares of Old Mutual climbed as much as 1.2 percent after reporting a 16 percent profit rise on Friday.
Lloyds Banking Group shares also rose, higher by 1.7 percent, before closing up 0.6 percent following an earnings report Friday, saying it will pay a dividend of 0.75p per share to investors.
Read MoreLloyds to pay first post-crisis dividend
ECB QE and US GDP
U.S. markets traded mildly lower on Friday, February's last trading day, amid domestic economic reports and slight oil gains.
A second reading of U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed growth expanded at a 2.2 percent annualized pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month.
Read More US Q4 growth rate revised down to 2.2%