Sam Meredith, Holly Ellyatt
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
Europe’s oil and gas stocks were some of the best performers. OMV, Royal Dutch Shell and Aker BP were all up more than 1 percent.
Looking at individual stocks, Germany’s Gea Group surged to the top of the European benchmark amid earnings news. The Dusseldorf-based group reported full-year revenue rose almost 5 percent in 2018, prompting shares to jump nearly 9 percent.
Sticking in Germany, Lufthansa tumbled to the bottom of the index during morning trade. The country’s biggest airline posted an 11 percent fall in fourth-quarter operating profits on Thursday, saying it would focus on “quality” growth over the coming months. Shares of the firm tumbled almost 6 percent on the news.
On Wall Street, stocks were little changed on Thursday following weaker-than-expected housing data.