Meanwhile, investors were also focused on earnings from major consumer discretionary companies Diageo and Unilever. Unilever reported better than expected sales for the first quarter, recovering from a slowdown as a result of easing growth in China.
Read MoreUnilever first-quarter sales beat expectations
The group saw a rise of underlying sales of 2.8 percent in the quarter, beating analyst expectations of around 2 percent. Shares in the group rallied and closed provisionally higher by 2.4 percent.
Diageo shares finished lower by 3.5 percent after it reported slower quarterly trading. The world's largest spirits-maker said net sales fell 0.7 percent in the three months to the end of March.
Alcatel-Lucent fell to the bottom of the French CAC index after the group, which is being bought by Nokia, was downgraded by a number of brokers including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.
BAE Systems also fell up to 3 percent after its rating was cut by analysts at UBS.
Oil was in focus on Thursday. Brent crude oil slumped to around $62 a barrel following an OPEC report, having jumped to a 2015 high earlier in the session.