Meanwhile, British recruiting firm Hays shares closed up 4.9 percent after announcing a rise in first-quarter net fees.
Carmaker BMW closed up 1.8 percent after an analyst upgrade from JPMorgan.
Shares of Gerresheimer closed down 5.4 percent after the glass and plastic producer was downgraded by JPMorgan and Berenberg.
BoE holds fire
The Bank of England left its benchmark interest rate unchanged as expected on Thursday, as wage growth and productivity remained surprisingly weak, lagging the country's economic recovery.
The U.K. central bank's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee left the bank's main interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent and the total size of its bond portfolio at £375 billion ($617 billion) after their October policy meeting.
Read MoreBank of England holds fire as wage growth lags
On the economic data front, Germany posted its biggest fall in foreign trade for five and a half years on Thursday morning. The Federal Statistics Office noted that late summer vacations had accentuated the fall in both exports and imports.
Later on Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi spoke at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. He reiterated his message that without reforms there could be no recovery in Europe.