Among the day's big movers were UBS. Its shares rose more than 3 percent after the Swiss bank said on Wednesday it had agreed to pay $545 million in combined fines and plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in a separate matter in a settlement with U.S. authorities over alleged rigging of the currency markets.
Read MoreUBS to pay $545M over forex, libor probes
Authorities on Wednesday fined JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclay's, RBS and UBS a total of more than $5.5 billion for rigging rates, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
Shares in RBS and Barclays both rallied after the fines, climbing around 2 percent and over 3 percent respectively.
Merger and acquisitions were also in the spotlight with French telecoms group Altice saying it had agreed to buy Suddenlink Communications in a deal valuing the company at $9.1 billion, to break into the fast-growing U.S. cable sector.
Read MoreAltice enters US cable market with Suddenlink buy
In addition to the news about Altice, Vodafone shares soared almost 5 percent on hopes of a tie-up with cable firm Liberty Global after Bloomberg reported Liberty Chairman John Malone saying on Tuesday that a deal between the two firms would be a "great fit."
"He's been in the business long enough to know the reaction to his remarks," Ian Whittaker, a media analyst at Liberum, told CNBC, referring to Malone's comments.
"I think he's right that a deal between Vodafone and Liberty makes a huge amount of sense. Obviously Liberty has mainly concentrated on fixed-line networks and cable. Vodafone has been looking for a strategy and its strength is mobile," he added.