LONDON Jan 17 European sales closed higher on Thursday as encouraging sales figures from retailers Carrefour and Associated British Foods helped offset losses in the mining sector.
Corporate updates were the main driver on Thursday, with AB Foods, owner of discount retailer Primark, and supermarket Carrefour rising 5.5 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, in brisk volume after they reported reassuring figures for the end of 2012.
They helped counter a 0.7 percent fall for heavyweight miner Rio Tinto, which recorded a $14 billion writedown.
"Investors are starting to judge stocks based on their fundamentals, as opposed to macro factors," Mark Buchanan, director of trading strategy at Credit Suisse, said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,164.69 points, stuck in the 1 percent range that has trapped it for the past week, as the index consolidated 22-month highs.