CAC 40 INDEX

European Markets Close Higher as Investors Monitor U.S. Bond Yields, Vaccine Programs

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • The EMA concluded its safety review into AstraZeneca's vaccine, deeming it safe and effective after fears that it may cause blood clots.
  • The Bank of England kept its policy stance unchanged, following the Fed's lead with a cautious tone on the prospects for future rate hikes.
  • The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield surged another 10 basis points on Thursday, at one point hitting a 14-month high past the 1.75% mark.

LONDON — European stocks closed mostly higher on Thursday as investors monitored bond yields and vaccination programs across the region.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by about 0.4% after a choppy trading session. Basic resources stocks were the top performers, climbing 2%. Germany's DAX was the standout performer in the region and rallied to a record high during Thursday's trade.

The EMA concluded its safety review into the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford Thursday, deeming it safe and effective after fears that it may cause blood clots.

Several European countries suspended the use of the vaccine over blood clot concerns, despite the World Health Organization and the EMA saying there was so far no evidence of a link between the shot and a small number of reports on blood clots.

Yields surge again

U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday after the Dow's record close on Wednesday, as a spike in bond yields continued to weigh on the technology sector.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield surged another 10 basis points on Thursday, at one point hitting a 14-month high past the 1.75% mark. Rising yields are fueling fears for equity valuations and leading investors to sell high-flying stocks.

Back in Europe, the Bank of England kept interest rates and its bond buying program unchanged on Thursday, following the Fed's lead with a cautious tone on the prospects for future rate hikes.

Earnings on Thursday morning came from Generali, Hugo Boss, Rolls-Royce, WPP, Morrisons and John Lewis Partnership.

German pharmaceutical company Sartorius saw its shares jump 8.2% after raising its 2021 guidance, with spin-off Sartorius Stedim Biotech gaining 6.2%.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group fell 12.6% after its full-year earnings report.

- CNBC.com staff contributed to this market report.

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