Strong miners helped haul European equity markets into positive territory on Thursday, after a choppy day's trade, ahead of a long holiday weekend and the release of the influential March U.S. jobs report.
Miners found favour as investors bought back into the sector which was sold off heavily in March, with data showing ongoing improvement in the U.S. labour market supportive to the demand picture.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 1.25 points, or 0.1 percent, at 1,052.24, rebounding from Wednesday's 2 percent drop, after a volatile week, with markets closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday.
The markets are closed tomorrow, so if you're an investor, and you think there is going to be good employment data from the U.S. you want to buy today, a London-based trader said.
That number is expected to indicate once again the improving labour market in the U.S., and of course good non-farm payrolls in the past few months have really helped assist with the rally.
A further rise in Spanish government bond yields on Thursday heaped pressure on banking stocks , the biggest holders of European sovereign debt, in the aftermath of Wednesday's below-par bond sale.
BSkyB was among the biggest fallers in Europe after Sky News admitted it had hacked into emails on two occasions, although it insisted it had acted in the public interest.
The shares fell 3.4 percent, pushing them into oversold territory on Thursday, according to the 14-day relative strength index.
Trading volumes in BSkyB were robust, at more than three times the 90-day daily average, making the stock the second-most heavily traded across Europe.
The Euro STOXX 50 of euro zone blue chips fell 5.92 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,392.54.
However, in a sign that investors were starting to buy into share price dips, the index managed to close above its 200-day moving average, having breached it earlier in the trading session.
The market is approaching levels... where we are beginning to find real value. Equity valuations are back in a range where we start cutting some short positions and adding to longs, Atif Latif, director at Guardian Stockbrokers, said.