European shares moved higher for the second session in a row on Thursday, paced by gains from automakers and construction companies, as well-received updates from French adverting group Havas and British caterer Compass Group also boosted sentiment early in the session.
The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 indexrose 0.8% to 377.95, with construction firms in the lead, up 1.5% and automakers close behind, up 1..3%.
The construction sector was given a lift by gains from French building materials giant Saint-Gobain. The firm's shares climbed 4.6% after French investment holding company Wendelrevealed late Wednesday that it has built a 6% stake in the company.
Other companies doing well in the construction sector included Lafarge, up 1.9% and Acciona, up 1.7%.
The auto sector was helped by an increase of 3.5% in shares of Germany's BMWafter the firm was upgraded to buy at Deutsche Bank.
The broker said that it expects to see significant change as the firm's management take action on costs. In total Deutsche Bank said it sees around 2.2 billion euros of potential cost improvements.
Of national indexes, the German DAX 30 indexrose 0.9% at 7,873.96, the French CAC-40 indexadvanced 0.9% at 5,740.55 and the U.K. FTSE 100 indexincreased 0.8% at 6,486.20.
U.S. shares ended higher on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining almost 100 points in the session.
Back in Europe, shares in French adverting group Havasincreased 5.6% after the firm revealed late Wednesday that it saw a marked upturn in profitability in the first half of its fiscal year. Profit rose 70.6% to 35 million euros, the firm said.
British catering company Compass Groupadvanced 1% after the firm said that its fiscal-year performance to September 30 will be at the top end of market expectations due to a better balance between new contracts and like-for-like growth.
Meanwhile, airline British Airwayssaw it shares rose 2.2%.
The firm has ordered 12 Airbus A380 and 24 Boeing 787 aircraft and has options for a further seven Airbus A380s and 18 Boeing 787s, its largest order since 1998.
Both aircraft types will be powered by Rolls-Royceengines. Shares in Rolls- Royce rose 1.6% in London.
On the downside, shares in snuff maker Swedish Matchslipped 0.6%.
J.P. Morgan downgraded the firm to neutral from overweight, citing unfavorable foreign exchanges rates and reduced growth from its snuff business.