European stocks were broadly higher on Thursday after data showed Germany’s factory orders fell less than feared in June.
Orders declined by 0.4 percent from May, while analysts had predicted a 0.9 percent drop.
On an annual basis, factory orders fell 9 percent following a revised 3.2 percent fall a month earlier, according to data released by Destatis.
U.S.-China tensions remained on investors’ radar after China said that it conducted “precision missile strikes” in the Taiwan Strait as part of military exercises that have raised tensions in the region to their highest level in decades.
The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 439.32 after rising half a percent on Wednesday.
The German DAX jumped 0.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 index added 0.4 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 0.2 percent ahead of the Bank of England’s interest-rate decision later in the day.
Having raised borrowing costs by 25 basis points five times since December, the central bank is now expected to become more aggressive with a 50-bps hike, the most since 1995.
Danish medical device company Ambu lost 4.5 percent after slashing its margin forecast and announcing job cuts.
Dutch lender ING Group tumbled 3.2 percent after reporting a decline in second-quarter net profit.
Credit Agricole surged over 4 percent. The French lender posted better-than-expected quarterly profits, driven by record activity in its investment banking division.
Commodity trader Glencore advanced 1.7 percent in London after profits more than doubled to a record in the first half of the year.
Fashion retailer Next surged 4.7 percent after raising its profit forecast.
Rolls-Royce shares slumped more than 9 percent. The aero-engine maker has warned of looming economic challenges after reporting a bigger-than-expected fall in first-half profit.
Lufthansa shares jumped 4.1 percent after the German airline returned to operating profit in the second quarter, thanks to booming demand for air cargo flights.
Sportswear firm Adidas rallied 3.3 percent despite second-quarter earnings and revenue falling short of expectations.
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