European equities closed mostly flat to higher on Thursday, as investors reacted to a dovish statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index closed higher, but major bourses were largely flat after a volatile session. The German DAX was the main underperformer, with the heavily-weighted Siemens falling as much as 5 percent, before reversing much of its losses to close 0.2 percent lower.
The German engineering firm is expected to announce a fall in organic sales in the second period of 2015, Reuters reported.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released an unexpectedly dovish message to markets on Wednesday. While the Fed indicated it will raise rates with the removal of the word "patient" from its statement, it also signaled that it was not in a hurry to do so.
U.S. stocks traded mostly lower on Thursday as investors weighed the Fed statement.
Only the Nasdaq traded higher. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly fell more than 100 points and the S&P edged lower, giving back some of their major gains from Wednesday following dovish Fed news.
The FTSE 100 closed 0.25 percent higher on Thursday as investors in the U.K. digested the annual U.K. Budget statement presented by the finance minister George Osborne on Wednesday. He announced modest increase in the growth forecast for next year.
In other news, markets will watch a European Union (EU) summit on Thursday, at which the Greek debt crisis is expected to top the agenda. Before the summit began, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German Parliament that the euro zone had not fully overcome the debt crisis, according to Reuters.
Greece in focus
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked for a meeting with top European policymakers, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the sidelines of the summit.
In stocks news, shares of Next traded around 3.4 percent lower after giving a cautious outlook in a earnings release on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the Swiss central bank kept benchmark rates unchanged on Thursday morning and the Swiss franc strengthened.
- CNBC's Jeff Cox and Patti Domm contributed to this market report.