In corporate releases, shares of Germany's Allianz ended the day around 0.7 percent higher, despite the company reporting first-quarter results on Wednesday that were hit by hefty outflows from its Pimco asset management subsidiary.
Read MoreAllianz CFO plays down hefty Pimco outflows
Meanwhile, U.K. broadcaster ITV shares closed down around 6.2 percent after it released a trading update. The decline weighed on the FTSE and the pan-European media stocks index.
Broker ICAP also ended the day lower, around 0.38 percent, after reporting a pre-tax profit fall of around 4 percent for its full year.
But Compass shares closed around 1.58 percent higher as the U.K. catering firm unveiled a special dividend to its shareholders and received a price upgrade by Barclays.
Promising data out of the U.K. underpinned sentiment that an economic recovery was underway.
U.K. unemployment fell to its lowest level in over five years, while wage growth in the country rose by more than inflation for the first time since 2010.
The rate of unemployment in the three months to March slid to 6.8 percent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday. This marked its lowest level since the three months to February 2009.
Read MoreUK jobless rate hits lowest in more than 5 years
These figures came just before the Bank of England released its inflation report, with Governor Mark Carney playing down expectations of an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates, despite signs of a pickup in the U.K.'s economic recovery.
Speaking at a press conference following the publication, Carney said a hike in rates will depend on the degree of slack in the U.K. economy, and the prospects for its absorption.
Read MoreBoE plays down earlier rate hike expectations