Looking at individual stocks, Balfour Beatty was the top performer of the European benchmark after stronger-than-expected earnings news. The British construction business reported first-half profit had jumped almost 70 percent on Wednesday after a two-year overhaul appeared to put the firm back into the black. Its shares closed above 6 percent.
U.K. motor and home insurer, Admiral Group, posted a 1 percent increase in profit before tax for the first six months of the year. However, costs from an increase in the British government's personal injury rate hampered the firm's growth. Its shares slipped more than 6 percent on the news.
Meantime, Danish shipping and oil giant, Moller-Maersk, reported cyber attacks could have a negative impact on its third-quarter results. The global cyber attack, which chiefly impacted the Maersk line in June, was estimated to hinder profits through September by around $200 to $300 million. Its shares recovered from earlier losses to close 2.3 percent higher.
In the U.S. markets were on a higher note as investors waited for minutes from the central bank. Expectations are that the Fed will raise interest rates in September. The sentiment puts the U.S. dollar on track to post its second best week so far this year.