European stocks end higher as mood improves, Lufthansa jumps over 7%

European stocks closed higher on Thursday, as improving economic data and more support from the European Central Bank helped lift sentiment, while shares in Germany's Lufthansa jumped after a top shareholder backed a government bailout.   The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.7% after a choppy session with automakers, financial services, banks and insurers the top gainers, rising between 1.

6% and 2.4%.   Stocks picked up steam after the ECB said it would offer euro loans against collateral to central banks outside.

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