Europe's main stock markets rose at the start of trading on Thursday as investors assessed the outlook for US interest rates following a meeting of the Federal Reserve.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4 percent to 7,265.05 points compared with the close on Wednesday, as markets reacted also to a clutch of European earnings updates.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 grew 0.2 percent to 12,552.06 points and the Paris CAC 40 won around 0.2 percent to 5,309.39 ahead of France's presidential election Sunday.
In foreign exchange, the dollar built on the previous day's gains after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday opened the door for another US interest rate hike next month, but Asian markets mostly turned lower in a holiday-filled week.
On the corporate front Thursday, shares in HSBC jumped 3.4 percent to 667.50 pence, topping the FTSE 100 in early deals, after the banking titan posted a rise in pre-tax profits, excluding one-off charges.
Royal Dutch Shell was also a strong early riser, winning around 3.0 percent after the energy group reported a surge in first-quarter net profits thanks to rebounding oil prices.
In Frankfurt, BMW gained 1.0 percent to 87.73 euros after the German luxury carmaker said it was "confident" of achieving its objectives for 2017, as it reported a leap in profits in the first three months.
Adidas jumped 2.5 percent, with the German sporting goods maker voicing confidence over meeting its objectives for the year, after a huge leap in quarterly profits.
Focus in Paris was on the upcoming presidential election.
French centrist Emmanuel Macron and his far-right presidential rival Marine Le Pen clashed Wednesday over terrorism, the economy and Europe in a bad-tempered TV debate that laid bare their profoundly different visions for the country.
The duel ahead of Sunday's election was billed as a confrontation between Macron's call for openness and pro-market reforms and Le Pen's France-first nationalism.