European stocks closed slightly higher Thursday, after fluctuating for much of the session, as investors reacted to a record number of U.S. jobless claims and movements in the energy markets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.2% at 312.08 , with oil and gas stocks jumping over 5%. The sector was boosted by news that Saudi Arabia and Russia could soon ease pressure on oil, ending a price war that has contributed to crude's massive plunge.
The energy sector was the standout performer. Aker BP, TGS-Nopec, and Lundin all gained more than 9% by the close. British energy company John Wood Group gained around 15%.
Earlier in the session, the U.S. Labor Department reported more than 6 million people had filed for unemployment benefits in the week of March 27, marking a record high. But stocks on Wall Street were higher as European markets closed on Thursday afternoon.
Source : CNBC