European stock markets fell on Thursday despite a continued commitment from the European Central Bank to keeping monetary policy loose for the foreseeable future, as company news pushed the continent's benchmarks lower.

The FTSE 100 in London was down by 0.54% to 7,208. In Germany the DAX was down by a fraction, 0.02% lower to 11,596. The CAC 40 in France shed 0.25% to close at 4,841.

ECB head Mario Draghi left Europe's rates unchanged, both the minimum bid and the all-important deposit rate, while making no changes to quantitative easing. The head honcho at the ECB said that while the danger of deflation has largely disappeared, economy watchers will need to be patient if they are to see a return of inflation.

British stocks were impacted a combination of a stronger pound sterling and a selloff among real estate investment trusts.

That said, real estate investment trusts were weak all across Europe, in what might have been a sign that at least some investors didn't believe Draghi's soothing rhetoric on a continuing dovish policy.

The continent's bank CEOs did some jawboning in Davos, Switzerland, that left London's REITs in the cold -- with some bankers set to move elsewhere in Europe -- although nobody knows where just yet.

British Land (BTLCY) delivered a positive trading update for the third quarter, but was still one of the biggest fallers in London. Its stock fell by more than 3% on concerns over the London office market in a post-Brexit world.

Likewise, Hammerson (HMSNF) and Land Securities (LSGOF) were also weak on Thursday, down nearly 3% each.

The biggest detraction from returns of continental stocks, outside of real estate, came in response to individual company news.

France's Safran (SAFRY) dropped more than 4% after it agreed a deal to buy aircraft seat maker Zodiac for €8.5 billion ($9.1 billion). Real estate firm Klepierre (KLPEF) was also a big faller, down 2.4% for the session.

In Germany, the biggest faller was residential real estate firm Vonovia (VONOY) , which saw its stock drop by nearly 2% while industrial giant ThyssenKrupp (TYEKF) also fell by a similar measure.