Oil prices jumped over 3.5 percent in afternoon trade on Thursday before paring slight gains, as a huge wildfire in Canada disrupted its oil sands production, while escalating tensions in Libya threatened the North African nation's output, Reuters reported. Brent was trading at $45.77 per barrel, while U.S. WTI hovered around $45.07 at Europe's close.
Stocks in the oil and gas sector posted strong gains on the back of this, with Repsol finishing trade up 4.7 percent despite reporting a 43 percent fall in net income for the first quarter of 2016. Tullow Oil led the sector, jumping 6.1 percent.
In Asia, markets finished mostly higher on Thursday as oil prices pushed the region higher, following a new reading on China's economy.
China Caixin services purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 51.8 for April, continuing to show signs of expansion, but marking a moderation from 52.2 in March. Meanwhile in the U.S., markets traded mostly higher around Europe's close, buoyed by the oil price.
In other data news, Britain's April services purchasing managers' index (PMI) hit 52.3, the lowest since February 2013 and down from the previous month's reading of 53.7, which on top of the U.K.'s "lackluster" construction and manufacturing figures, suggests the economy "could be about to hit not only hit a pothole in Q2, but potentially come to a halt," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note.