Greek banks soared on Wednesday on hopes that a new deal on the country's debt could soon be struck. The country's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, has proposed a debt swap that will replace outstanding debt with new growth-linked bonds. Varoufakis and Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras, are currently trying to persuade other European leaders to show leniency towards Greece.
The top three performers on the Greek benchmark index were banks, with Bank of Piraeus heading up the list, closing up by a staggering 21 percent.
Outside of Europe, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) cut the minimum amount it requires banks to hold as reserves, in an effort to boost growth in the country. The move, effective Thursday, is the first such cut since May 2012.
This briefly helped boost mining stocks in Europe, which have heavy exposure to the world's second-biggest economy.
Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld