European stocks started the day in positive territory after Greece's creditors signed up to long-delayed debt-relief measures for the Mediterranean country.

In London, the FTSE 100 was recently 0.63% higher at 6,258.73, while on the mainland the Dax added 0.90% to 10,147.48 in Frankfurt and the Cac 40 gained. 61% to 4,458.67.

Investors across the region were in a buying mood, a day after the International Monetary Fund and euro-area finance ministers signed up to the release of EUR10.3 billion ($11.5 billion) of aid, mainly to help Greece service its debt.

A first disbursement is scheduled for June, with subsequent installments to be made after the summer and based on Greece reaching certain milestones related to the sale of state assets, bank governance and to its energy sector.

In the Greek capital, the Athens General Stock Exchange General Index climbed 1.5%,

S&P 500 mini futures were up 0.29% at 2,081.00.

Meanwhile in Europe, a slew of corporate news pulled stocks in both directions.

In London, Marks & Spencer slumped 8%. The retailing group reported an 18.5% drop in full-year pre-tax profit for the fiscal year ended April 2, with new CEO Steve Rowe pledging to grow clothing and home sales as a top priority.

At the same time, M&S announced a higher payout for shareholders, including an unexpected special dividend for the first half of 2016/2017.

Dixons Carphone rose 0.91% after the electronics and telecommunications retailer raised its full-year pretax guidance.

Dixons said it now expects the headline figure to be between GBP445 million ($652.33 million) and GBP450 million, compared to a previous projection of GBP440 million to GBP450 million issued in January. It's due to report full-year results on June 29.

In Frankfurt, Bayer (BAYRY) slid 0.65%, as the German life sciences company vowed to press on with its $62 billion pursuit of Monsanto (MON) .

"We are confident that we can address any potential financing or regulatory maters related to the transaction," said Bayer CEO Werner Baumann in a statement, adding that "Bayer remains committed to working together to complete this mutually compelling transaction."

Budweiser maker AB InBev (BUD) was up 1.30% in Brussels.

On Wednesday the Leuven, Belgium-based brewer received the European Commission's conditional blessing for its £71 billion ($103.9 billion) takeover of SABMiller  (SBMRY) in light of several assets sales designed to ease competition worries.

The deal has now been cleared in 14 jurisdictions, but still potentially faces a rough ride with regulators in the U.S. AB InBev said late Wednesday that it "will continue to engage proactively with the relevant authorities to obtain the necessary clearances as quickly as possible."

SABMiller inched up 0.15% in London.

Asian stocks were also mainly up as well, with the Hang Seng climbing 2.71% in Hong Kong to 20,368.05 and the Nikkei closing 1.57% higher at 16,757.35 in Tokyo. On mainland China, the CSI 300 composite slid 0.14% to 3,059.23.