European stocks were mixed by the close Thursday after investors's attention was recaptured by commodity markets, economic growth and the potential for a broad tightening of monetary policy in the developed world over the coming quarters.
The European Central Bank said in an economic bulletin Thursday that second-quarter growth was solid in the eurozone, while the global economy also saw a pick up too.
Comments from the Frankfurt-based bank came just a day after Bank of England economist Andy Haldanse said that U.K. interest rates might need to rise later on this year, and little more than a week after the Fed carried out its fourth rate hike.
Oil prices, and much of the sector, remained subdued throughout session before staging a rally late into the afternoon.
Benchmarks were lower across the board until the final half-hour of trading when many stocks began to pare losses.
The FTSE 100 closed 0.11% lower at 7,439 in London, while its sibling FTSE 250 index dropped 0.09%. In Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.15% to 12,794 by the close while, over in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.15% to settle at 5,281.
Over in Southern Europe, the FTSE MIB in Milan and the IBEX in Madrid were both down for the session, lower by 0.67% and 0.29% for the session.
While there was further pressure on the commodity space during the session, financials and consumer stocks were the weakest links across Europe at the close Thursday, with heavyweights from both sectors dominating the list of top fallers on each index.
TUI Travel (TTVLF) , defense firm BAE Systems (BAESY) , grocer WM Morrison (MRWSY) and banking stalwart Barclays (BCS) were some of the biggest fallers on London's FTSE 100, alongside water utility United Utilities (UUGRY) . All were down more than 2% by the time the music stopped Thursday.
In Paris, the CAC 40 was hit by losses at construction group Bouygues (BOUYF) , services firm Sodexo (SDXAY) , both of which were down more than 1% by the close. Societe Generali (SCGLY) and BNP Paribas (BNPQY) were also among the biggest fallers with losses of close to 1% each.
Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) , Commerzbank (CRZBY) , apparel retailer Adidas (ADDYY) and chemicals firm BASF (BASFY) were the top fallers in Frankfurt while, elsewhere on the continent, STMicroelectronics (STM - Get Report) and beverage maker Davide Campari (DVDCY) also weighed.
On a more positive note, defensives such as drugmakers and tobacco companies had a solid session with Shire (SHP) , Glaxo (GSK - Get Report) and Astrazeneca (AZN - Get Report) all posting gains of around 2% or more, while Imperial Tobacco (IMBBY) .