LONDON ( The Deal) -- European and Asian markets mainly edged higher Thursday, reassured by U.S. central bankers' lack of concern about an inflation risk in the world's-largest economy and fresh signs of a robust recovery in the 18-nation euro area.
In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.06% to 6,825.19, while the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 0.12% to 9.709.55. In France, the CAC 40 fell 0.19% to 4,460.64.
Investors were largely in a buying mood a day after minutes released from the Federal Open Market Committee's last meeting showed that central bankers expect inflation in the U.S. to remain below their 2% long-term target.
In Europe on Thursday, the eurozone composite Purchasing Managers' Index published by Markit Economics was at 53.9 in May, little changed from 54 in April, putting the region on course for its best quarter in three years. An increase in the survey's measure of new orders to its highest level since 2011 bodes well for further resilient growth of business activity in June, the report said.
Top gainers in Europe included Austria's Raiffeisen Bank. The stock rose 4.56% in Vienna after the lender reported a 2.5% rise in first-quarter net profit to 161 million euros ($220 million), which was above expectations. But it remains cautious for the coming year, saying that it expects loans and advances to customers to remain at the "approximate level" of the previous year.
Raiffeisen, which makes most of its profit in the former Soviet Union, anticipates a net provisioning requirement of between 1.3 billion and 1.4 billion euros in 2014, but said that results may be impacted by the European Central Bank's ongoing asset quality review and a further deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and Russia.