LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks moved lower on Thursday after the eurozone central bank decided late Wednesday that it wouldn't accept Greek bonds as collateral from lenders.
However, upward revisions by the European Commission of growth forecasts, thanks to low oil prices, euro weakness and monetary stimuli, lifted the mood during the morning trading session.
In London, where Bank of England policymakers convene Thursday to set rates, the FTSE 100 was down 0.18% at 6,847.81. In Frankfurt the DAX was little changed at 10,911.82 and in Paris the CAC 40 slipped 0.34% to 4,680.28.
The Athens Composite Index was down 5.5% as shares in Greek lenders including National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Eurobank Ergasias fell sharply.
The EC said it expects eurozone growth this year of 1.3% , rising to 1.9% in 2016, up from the forecasts of 1.1% and 1.7%, respectively, that it delivered three months ago.
In London, BT Group (BT) shares were up close to 5% after it finalized a deal to buy the EE Ltd. U.K. wireless services operator from Deutsche Telekom and Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($19 billion).
Britain's No. 2 drugs maker AstraZeneca (AZN - Get Report) was down about 2% after publishing 2014 results and predicting a "mid single-digit" percentage fall in 2015 revenue at constant exchange rates. It also announced a deal to buy the rights to New York-listed Actavis' branded respiratory business in the U.S. and Canada for an initial $600 million on completion.
In Paris, drugs maker Sanofi (SNY - Get Report) gained more than 2% after reporting a 6.7% rise in full-year profit, stripping out currency fluctuations, to 6.9 billion euros ($7.9 billion). It expects a slight rise in 2015 earnings per share on the same basis but it said that the weak euro could boost earnings per share by another 4% to 5%. It expects to name a new CEO in coming weeks.
Also in Paris, lender BNP Paribas (BNPQY) fell more than 4% after posting fourth-quarter results just shy of expectations. Full-year earnings were weighed down by one-off costs of 7.4 billion euros, including 6 billion euros paid to U.S. authorities.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.98% at 17,504.62, reflecting global nervousness about Greece's predicament. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.35% to close at 24,765.49.