LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock markets rose for the first time this week on Thursday, taking their cue from Asia, amid mounting hopes the Federal Reserve may hold off on the inevitable rate rise.

Weak U.S. retail sales data on Wednesday and separate comments in recent days from Fed rate setters Daniel Tarullo and Lael Brainard supported the view that the central bank won't necessarily lift rates this year.

In London by late morning, the FTSE 100 was up 0.87% at 6,323.17. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 1.19% at 10,034.48 and in Paris the CAC 40 was up 1.02% at 4,655.79%

Luxury clothing retailer Burberry  (BURBY)  slumped about 12% in London after a 6% drop in first-half sales in Asia. The company indicated profit will decline for the second consecutive year, noting that earnings will be "broadly in line" with average forecasts of about £445 million ($689.3 million). Adjusted pretax profit was £456 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

Hedge fund manager Man Group rose almost 4% after a trading statement showed it had attracted net inflows of $1.4 billion in the quarter ended September.

News and books retailer WH Smith Group was up about 4% after beating expectations with full-year pretax profit of £123 million and noting that same-store sales in its travel retailing unit, which operates stores at international airports and railway stations, rose 4%. Peel Hunt LLP analysts lifted their recommendation to add from hold, noting that the retailer's travel unit was a candidate for a spinoff from its "High Street" stores.

Unilever  (UN)  was up more than 3% in Amsterdam and London after a third-quarter trading statement showed a 9.4% rise in revenue to €13.4 billion ($15.3 billion) and an 8.4% increase in underlying sales from emerging markets, where the company managed to achieve 3.5% price growth.

In Paris, food retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon was up more than 7% on strong third-quarter figures.

Syngenta  (SYT) was down almost 3% in Zurich after reporting a 12% decline in third-quarter sales. The report is its first since the agricultural chemicals and seed maker fought off a $45 billion bid from Monsanto.

Asian markets had an overwhelmingly positive day.

The Shanghai Composite closed up 2.23% at 3,338.07. The S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.63% at 5,230.05.

Asciano closed down 7.6% after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said its A$8.5 billion ($6.9 billion) takeover by Brookfield Asset Management could reduce competition in in the Queensland and Western Australia rail haulage markets.

Fortescue Metals Group closed up 6% after a first-quarter report showed a 24% reduction in production costs and progress on trimming debt.

Australian unemployment figures showed an unexpected decline in the number of jobs in September. The unemployment rate was 6.2%.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed up 1.15% at 18,096.90 and the Topix closed up 1.35% a 1,490.72. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed up 1.88% at 22,860.93.