European stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors responded to poor corporate earnings from German industrial titans and a surprise ruling from the U.K. high court that prevents the British government from beginning formal divorce talks with the EU without first securing a vote of support in parliament.
The High Court ruling in London sent a wave of relief through markets, as lawmakers who have been supportive of the EU gained a role for themselves in the Brexit process, leading investors and traders to price in a reduced likelihood of a messy divorce between London and Brussels.
The news reduces the risk of an economic hard landing for both the U.K. and the European Union, a potentially hawkish development from a monetary policy perspective.
Central bank policy itself was also back on the agenda after the Bank of England appeared to drop its September warning that another interest rate cut could be in the pipeline for the final quarter, with Mark Carney reverting to type and saying instead that the next interest rate move from the bank could be either up or down.
The FTSE 100, heavily populated with dollar earners and Europe's best-performing stock market for the year, dropped by 0.5% to 6,814.1 in response to the day's news.
The FTSE 250, which was hit hard by the vote in June, rose by more than 1% in the moments following the news. It closed some 0.68% higher at 17,581.9.
In Europe, the German DAX fell by 0.2% to 10,351.4 after a series of industrial titans delivered disappointing trading updates. In France, the CAC 40 fell 0.07% to 4,411.7 after being boosted by a buoyant banking sector during the session.