Europe Markets

Europe shares end mixed amid euro strength

Europe shares end mixed amid euro strength

European equities fluctuated between gains and losses on Thursday, before closing mostly higher as investors reacted to more earnings news as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest interest rate decision.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index finished around 0.3 percent lower, while most major indices finished in positive territory. The U.K.'s FTSE 100, the German DAX and the French CAC all finished around 0.3 percent higher.

Earnings mixed

On the data front, the euro zone also ended four months of deflation in April, with official data on Thursday showing that prices were unchanged from a year ago.

The euro rose for a third day against the dollar on Thursday, pushing it over $1.12 for the first time in two months after softer than expected U.S. GDP data.

In earnings news, RBS shares finished around 2.5 percent lower after the U.K. bank announced its was setting aside around another $1.3 billion for possible misconduct charges.

Read MoreRBS posts net loss on litigation charges

Meanwhile, oil major Royal Dutch Shell edged higher after reporting a profit rise despite a sharp revenue decline.

Shares of Nokia, plunged up to 9 percent as it reported that profits at its core business were down around 61 percent.

Fed decision

Aside from individual earnings, investors were also focused on the U.S. as the Federal Open Market Committee concluded a two-day policy meeting Wednesday.

The statement released after the meeting removed all calendar references and contained no new guidance on the timing of a rate hike, making the possibility of a June rate hike less likely.

Read MoreNot yet: Fed holds rate at zero, no hint for hike

The decision came as the U.S. economy has hit a soft patch, largely blamed on harsh winter weather and a strong dollar.

U.S. stocks pared losses on Thursday as investors found some relief from news of progress towards a deal in Greece, amid continued weakness in the dollar and higher Treasury yields.

Greece in focus

Back in Europe, euro zone officials tried to get Greece to compromise over reforms on Wednesday so the country can unlock urgently needed aid. Athens said it would present a list of reforms for legislation to show it is serious about implementing its promises; it has been slow to do so, however.

The measures Greece has proposed, which include some privatizations and tax reforms, will be assessed in more detail when technical-level teams from Greece and the lenders meet on Thursday, Greek government officials told Reuters late Wednesday.

An International Monetary Fund spokesman said on Thursday the fund does not expect Greece to exit the euro zone.

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