European stock benchmarks recovered on Thursday, lifted by yesterday's Fed minutes, as U.K. real estate companies and home builders rebounded.

Fed minutes highlighted policymakers' concern about a labor market slowdown and of Brexit risks and appeared to further reduce the likelihood of a rate rise anytime soon. The meeting took place before the June 24 referendum outcome and some observers expect the Fed's next move will be down rather than up.

In Frankfurt, ECB minutes of its June 1 - 2 meeting in Vienna appeared to guide against any imminent stimuli. However, the meeting took place before the Brexit decision, at time when concern about the U.K. referendum vote "had abated," the ECB noted.

In the minutes the bank said monetary stimuli, including a new round of cheap loans to eurozone banks, would take a while to kick in but central bankers would remain alert to the danger of low inflation, or deflation, becoming "entrenched." The ECB cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.4% in March.

The FTSE 100 was recently up 1.26% at 6,544.76, reversing yesterday's 1.25% decline. The Dax in Frankfurt, which lost 1.67% yesterday, pared gains in the course of the morning and was recently up 0.50% at 9,419.55. In Paris the Cac 40 was up 1.11% at 4,130.59

Associated British Foods (ASBFY) , which last year opened its first Primark discount store in the U.S., in downtown Boston, led the FTSE 100 higher. It rose almost 10% after lifting its full-year profit forecast and saying it will benefit in the fourth quarter from the weaker pound.

But it said the pound's fall will have "positive and negative effects on profit" in the next financial year, hurting Primark while boosting its sugar margins

Home builders and developers in the U.K. posted gains after several days of losses amid fears that Brexit will trigger a commercial real estate and residential properties price crash.

Home builders Taylor Wimpey (TWODF) and Persimmon (PSMMY)   were near the top of the U.K. leader board and had recently risen more than 4% and over 3% on Wednesday's close.

Land Securities (LSGOY) and British Land (BTLCY) were both recently, almost 4% and more than 3%, respectively. Great Portland Estates (GPEAF) was up more than 3% even after warning on Thursday that Brexit uncertainty would hurt the London commercial real estate market. Six property fund managers have this week suspended redemptions on commercial real estate funds.

But Macquarie analysts on Thursday published a reassuring note about the sector: "We do not expect a wholesale property crash," they said, noting that residential property yields are well above 2007 lows and commercial real estate yields "look far from demanding."

Data from mortgage lender Halifax showed annual house price growth in the U.K. slowed in the three months to June, though less than expected, with growth coming in at 8.4% on the year, compared with 9.2% in the three months to May.

Lenders Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Report and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) - Get Report shot up 4%, aided by Macquarie upgrades and commentary that the U.K. banking selldown had been overdone.

Sports Direct International was recently up 2% in London after announcing it is considering a share buyback as it reported falling full-year sales and profit, as expected.

May manufacturing and industrial output for the U.K. came in much better than expected, with the monthly decline by both measures coming in at 0.5%, less than the 0.9% forecast.  

But in Germany May industrial output data built on a picture of economic fragility painted by yesterday's factory order figures and boosted expectations the ECB will take new measures to spur growth. Output declined by 1.3% month-on-month, instead of holding steady, as expected, while the Federal Statistical Office also revised April output downwards to 0.5% growth. 

Danone (DANOY) jumped more than 5% in Paris and was recently up 3.5% on news it would spend $12.5 billion on organic milk and vegan food and drinks maker WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) .

(WWAV is a portfolio company of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio. See all of his holdings holdings here.)

Brent crude was recently up 0.88% at $49.23 a barrel.. Gold edged lower and silver, a star performer in recent days, fell back 0.98% to $20.01 an ounce.

Government bond yields edged higher in several European markets, having hit record lows in several markets yesterday. The 10-year German bond yield was up 2 basis points at minus 0.15%.The pound was recently up 0.46% against the dollar at $1.2991 after falling to a new 31-year low in Asia.

Nonfarm payroll data out tomorrow is expected to show the creation of about 180,000 new jobs, after unexpectedly weak 38,000 jobs growth in May.