European stock markets were mixed on Thursday as stronger than expected economic data helped push Spain's IBEX 35 and London's FTSE 250 higher, while a weak performance from energy, utility and industrial stocks weighed on others.
In London, the domestically exposed FTSE 250 index rose by 0.7% to close at 17,849.6, after the monthly Markit Manufacturing PMI showed a sharp rebound in sentiment across the industry during August.
The manufacturing index rose from 48.3 in July to 53.3 in August, taking it above the break even point of 50.0, and back to a level that is consistent with growing output as opposed to recessionary conditions.
Domestic manufacturing exposed firm Diploma (DPMAY) was the top riser on the FTSE 250 index after the shares closed 6.9% higher.
However, the blue chip FTSE 100 fell by more than 0.5% to close at 6,745.9, after energy and utility stocks fell in tandem with a more than 2% drop in the price of Brent crude and defensives sold off in response to signs of a stable post-referendum economy.
The Spanish manufacturing PMI also came in stronger than expected when it held steady, at 51.0, during August against expectations for a modest contraction.
In Germany, the DAX fell by just more than 0.5% to 10,534.0, after utility and banking stocks weighed on the index.
Deutsche Bank(DB) - Get Report shares fell by around 1% following strong gains on Wednesday while utility giant RWE (RWEOY) fell for the second day running after announcing the acquisition of Belectric Solar and Battery earlier in the week. RWE stock closed almost 3% lower on Thursday.
In France, oil and gas services firm Technip (TKPPY) saw its shares lead the CAC 40 index lower, when they fell by 2.1% amidst broad based weakness in oil and gas related stocks. The CAC 40 closed 0.03% higher on Thursday at 4,439.6.