European benchmarks were mixed going into the close Thursday after London received a boost from the latet Bank of England policy statement while performances were more temperatmental elsewhere in Europe given a mixed volley of corporate earnings reports released in the early hours.

The FTSE 100 gained 0.82%, to 7,471, in London while the midmarket FTSE 250 added 0.30%, to be quoted at 19,902. Both indices were boosted by a BoE report that showed the number of rate setters voting for a hike declining by one at the recent meeting, with only two policy makers now in favor of tightening. 

In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.40%, to be quoted at 5,132, while the DAX index shed 0.20%, to 12,155. Over in Southern Europe, benchmarks were broadly higher with the IBEX in Madrid and the FTSE MIB in Milan both adding more than 0.50%.

Of note, and in individual stocks, Next (NXGPY) , Randgold (GOLD) and London Stock Exchange (LDNXF) were among the biggest gainers in London while shares of drugmaker, Shire (SHP) , possibly came close to being the most volatile. 

Next returned to sales growth during the second quarter and hiked its dividend, signalling confidence that the long-running slowdown seen by the British middle-of-the-road clothing retailer is at an end. The stock was up nearly 10% an hour out from the close. 

Randgold saw its top line expand by some 22% during the recent period and sounded a bullish tone on future exploration, while London Stock Exchange hiked its dividend following a solid quarter. Shares of the pair were up 4.6% and 2.9% respectively. 

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