European markets ended the day up, recovering from loses earlier in the week.

In Frankfurt, ECB minutes of its June 1 - 2 meeting in Vienna appeared to guide against any imminent stimuli. However, the meeting took place before the Brexit decision, at time when concern about the U.K. referendum vote "had abated," the ECB noted.

In the minutes the bank said monetary stimuli, including a new round of cheap loans to eurozone banks, would take a while to kick in but central bankers would remain alert to the danger of low inflation, or deflation, becoming "entrenched." The ECB cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.4% in March.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 1.09% today to close at 6,533.79. The domestic-focused FTSE 250 was up 1.46% at 15,898.81.

The outlook for U.K. banks got a little cloudier today after rating agency S&P cut its outlook for the country's major banks. S&P said the Brexit referendum "increased the risks of adverse economic developments" on domestic banks.

However, banks rallied today. Royal Bank of Scotland  (RBS) was up 6.9% and Lloyds (LYG) was up 5.2%. Barclays (BCS) didn't fare as well, gaining just 2.4%.

Analysts at Australian bank Macquarie Group felt optimistic, today upgrading both RBS - still 79% owned by the British government - and Lloyds from neutral to outperform.

Associated British Foods (ASBFY) was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100, closing almost 10% up. The owner of fast fashion retailer today raised its full-year profit guidance saying that a weaker pound could help its bottom line.

Sales at Primark were up 7% compared with last year in the 40-week period. This was driven by an increase in retail space. Same-store sales in the last 16 weeks, however, were adversely affected by unpredictable weather, especially a cold April. However, analysts expect Primark to outperform due to U.S. and continental Europe expansion plans.

Data from mortgage lender Halifax showed annual house price growth in the U.K. slowed in the three months to June, though less than expected, with growth coming in at 8.4% on the year, compared with 9.2% in the three months to May.

This gave a boost to property and home developers who have taken a battering since the June 23 referendum. Home builder Taylor Wimpey (TWODF) was up 5.4% and Persimmon (PSMMY) gained 3.7%.

Land Securities (LSGOY) and British Land (BTLCY) closed more than 4% and more than 3% up, respectively.

In Frankfurt, the Dax closed narrowly up at 9,418.78 gaining 0.49% and the Cac 40 closed at 4,117.85, 0.80% up in Paris.

In Paris, Danone (DANOY) closed 2.5% up after it jumping 5% this morning when it announced a $12.5 billion acquisition of organic milk and vegan food and drinks maker WhiteWave (WWAV) .

(WWAV is a portfolio company of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio. See all of his holdings here.)

Hotel chain Accor (ACCYY) was up 3.6% today after it announced it had sold a portfolio of 85 economy and mid-market hotels for €504 million ($651.1 million).