European markets traded higher midday Thursday as corporate results and merger and acquisition activity boosted shares.
In economic data, a report by the Confederation of British Industry showed U.K. retail sale volumes rose sharply in April, rising to a reading of 30.0 on its index of retailers from 13.0 in March.
The closely watched German Ifo Business Climate Index also came in better than expectations, standing at 111.2 in April, and up from 110.7 in March.
In a speech in Amsterdam earlier today, ECB President Mario Draghi said any worsening of the medium-term inflation outlook could trigger asset purchases. The euro fell slightly after the remarks.
Stocks on the Move
Anglo American gained 3% after the miner said first-quarter iron-ore production increased 10%.
AstraZeneca gained 4.8% while Unilever fell 1.5% after the company said growth in emerging markets continued to slow while developing markets remained weak.
ARM Holdings PLC was up 0.6%.
Alstom SA jumped over 14% after a Bloomberg report the company may receive a $13 billion bid from General Electric.
Schneider Electric gained 5.7% after posting an increase in first-quarter sales and spoke of improving business from Western Europe.
Oil services group Technip climbed 8.1% after an update.
Swedish truck-maker Scania rose over 6% after its fourth largest shareholder agreed to Volkswagen's takeover offer.
Rouhan Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.