The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.12 percent during afternoon deals, with most major bourses in positive territory but sectors pointing in opposite directions.

Europe’s tech stocks led the gains, up almost 2 percent amid earnings news. Sweden’s Hexagon was the top sectoral performer, after reporting solid quarterly results on Wednesday. The industrial technology group said it was confident about growth prospects in China despite signs of an economic downturn. Shares of company rose 11 percent on the news.

Shares of online supermarket pioneer Ocado slumped almost 7 percent after a fire at its flagship robotic distribution center badly damaged the complex. Meanwhile, Ubisoft fell to the bottom of the European index — down nearly 10 percent — after U.S. gaming giant EA reported worse-than-expected earnings.

Looking at other individual stocks, Britain’s CYBG surged toward the top of the European benchmark. The owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks reported a slight rise in lending in the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, despite strong competition in Britain’s housing mortgage market and lingering Brexit uncertainty. Shares of the lender jumped nearly 13 percent.

In dealmaking news, the European Union rejected a proposed rail merger between Germany’s Siemens and France’s Alstom, citing “serious competition concerns.”

On the data front, subdued demand from abroad unexpectedly dragged down German industrial orders in December. Official figures published Wednesday showed exporters in Europe’s largest economy are being negatively impacted by a global slowdown and rising trade barriers.


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