French stocks were notably higher on Thursday after China released exports and imports data for January that easily topped expectations.
Soft inflation data from the U.S. and hopes of a possible U.S.-China trade deal also offered some support.
Negotiators from China and the United States have begun senior-level talks in Beijing aimed at ending their trade conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier that he is open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement.
The benchmark CAC 40 was up 25 points or 0.49 percent at 5,099 in opening deals after gaining 0.4 percent the previous day.
Airbus jumped more than 5 percent. The European plane maker lifted dividend after posting stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
Lender Credit Agricole Group dropped 1 percent after its trading revenue plunged in the last three months of 2018.
Energy management firm Schneider Electric soared almost 6 percent after announcing a new share buyback program.
Automaker Renault advanced 3.8 percent after its board blocked payouts worth 10 million euros to ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn.
DAX Rises As Investors Eye US-China Trade Talks
German stocks rose modestly on Thursday as Chinese trade data beat expectations and optimism prevailed that the U.S. and China might reach an agreement in trade talks.
The benchmark DAX was up 41 points or 0.37 percent at 11,208 in opening deals after closing up 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
Lender Commerzbank rose 2.8 percent after its fourth-quarter profit jumped 51 percent amid a major overhaul.
Osram Licht dropped 1 percent. The lighting manufacturer has confirmed rumors that Bain Capital and Carlyle Group are considering a joint acquisition of up to 100 percent of the company’s shares. Exchange operator Deutsche Boerse shed 0.8 percent after reporting a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit.
Bilfinger jumped over 5 percent after narrowing its FY loss.
In economic releases, Germany’s economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2018 to avoid a technical recession, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed.
GDP came in unchanged from the third quarter, when the economy contracted 0.2 percent. Economists were looking for a modest increase of 0.1 percent.