RTTNews - The European markets rose for the first time in six days on Thursday, as mining stocks rallied after metals prices climbed and Alcoa, Inc. kicked off second quarter U.S. earnings season by reporting better-than-expected results.

In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said in its report that jobless claims in the week ended July 4th fell to 565,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 617,000. Economists had been expecting a more modest decrease to 603,000 from the 614,000 originally reported for the previous week. The weekly jobless claims fell below the 600,000 level for the first time since January.

The Bank of England kept the interest rate at 0.5% and decided to continue with its asset purchase scheme totaling £125 billion by utilizing central bank reserves.

Crude for August delivery rose $0.03 to $60.17 a barrel on the New York mercantile exchange, by the time the European markets closed, as a drop in U.S. jobless claims fueled optimism about the economy.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.76% higher at 823.32 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.89% to 2,040.79 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.45% to 4,158.66, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 0.54% to 3,025.94 and Germany's DAX index climbed 1.26% to 4,630.07.

Anglo America, the world's second biggest miner, climbed 5.6%, while Rio Tinto, the third biggest, surged up 3.8% and copper miner Antofagasta rose 2.6%.

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, gained 4.6% after DZ Bank added the company to its Germany top-10 list of recommended stocks.

Automotive stocks edged higher after Bank of America Corp. upgraded European automakers to overweight from from neutral. BMW, the world's biggest maker of luxury cars, rose 2.2% and Daimler, the second biggest, surged up 2.7%.

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