In individual stock news, shares of U.K. insurer Amlin surged 33 percent on the news that Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings had agreed to buy it for £3.47 billion ($5.34 billion).
The deal boosted the stock price of other names in the insurance sector including Lancashire, which closed up around 4.9 percent and Beazley, which ended around 3.6 percent higher.
Near the market close, shares in K+S spiked 7 percent on media reports that Potash Corp was considering a hostile bid for the German company.
Another top performer was Commerzbank, which ended 6.8 percent higher after JPMorgan raised the rating on the stock to "overweight". from "neutral."
The autos and basic resources sectors, both which are closely tied to the Chinese economy, shrugged off the weak data out of Asia.
Germany's BMW and France's Valeo closed up 3.8 and 4.5 percent respectively. Miners Anglo American and Glencore also finished sharply higher.
After the close of trade, Heineken announced it was buying a 50 percent stake in U.S. craft beer maker, Lagunitas.