European stocks rose on Thursday to hover near record highs after the Federal Reserve minutes from the March meeting indicated that officials were united on the need to see more progress on the recovery before scaling back their massive bond-buying program.
The day's economic data also supported hopes for a swift economic recovery from the pandemic.
Data from Destatis revealed that German factory orders growth accelerated in February driven by domestic demand.
Factory orders grew 1.2 percent month-on-month in February, faster than the 0.8 percent increase in January and matching economists' expectations.
On a yearly basis, growth in industrial orders improved notably to 5.6 percent from 1.4 percent a month ago.