European benchmarks rose broadly on Thursday as investors responded to another round of solid corporate earnings figures and a series of individual company announcements.
The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.57% to 7,229. In Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.86% to 11,642 while in Paris the CAC 40 surged by 1.25% to close at 4,826. The FTSE MIB came to a rest 0.94% higher at 18,947 in Italy while the IBEX chalked up a 1.17% gain to close at 9,438 in Spain.
On the FTSE, easyJet (EJTTF) and Ryanair(RYAAY) - Get Report were among the top gainers, up 1.6% and 3.4%, respectively, after President Trump pledged to reduce the regulatory burden on airlines flying in the United States during a White House meeting with industry executives.
This is while insurance firm, Aviva (AVVIY) gained 1.2% after it reached an agreement to sell the remaining half of a French joint venture to Societe Generale (SCGLY) for just more than €500 million ($535 million).
In France, energy giant EDF (ECIFY) saw its shares fall more than 3% during the morning session before eventually closing higher, after it reported an explosion at the troubled Flamanville nuclear power plant in Belgium.
There were five injuries, according to local press, but the company has reported there is no threat of a radioactive leak.
Nevertheless, the incident is likely to be of concern to investors given years of cost-overruns and technical difficulties that EDF has had while trying to install a new reactor at the site.
Societe Generale was also among the top gainers on the Gallic index Thursday after it beat the consensus for fourth-quarter profit before tax by 36%, following a solid performance from all divisions.
But fortunes were mixed for European banks as, over in Germany, Commerzbank (CRZBY) left a sour taste in the mouths of investors after reporting a flat bottom line for the recent quarter and warning of a tough year ahead.
On a brighter note, Deutsche Lufthansa (DLAKY) posted a solid set of passenger traffic numbers for January, which boosted the shares, although the sector at large was buoyant following the day's airline action in the White House.