The Markit Economics purchasing mangers' index for the eurozone services sector in April topped an initial reading, but the index, at 54.1, remained down from March's 54.2. The composite eurozone index was also better than the initial reading but down for the month.
In the U.K., in a crumb of comfort for the Conservative Party just a day before what look set to be the most indecisive elections in a generation, the Markit index for the services sector came in well ahead of the initial reading at 59.5, up from 58.9 in March, signalling the fastest pace of expansion since August 2014. A reading above 50 points to economic growth.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.50% to 6,962.53 by late morning. In Frankfurt, the DAX clambered back 1.11% to 11,453.23, and in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.74% to 5,010.96.
But the Athens Composite Index was down 2.53% as fears of a Greek debt default and an exit of the country from the eurozone persisted.
In London, U.K. food retailer J Sainsbury (JSAIY) declined after posting its first loss in a decade because of real estate write-downs and declining same-store sales.