European stock markets ended mixed on Thursday, after bright data helped Wall Street recover from the prospect of an earlier-than-expected hike in US interest rates. London's FTSE 100 slid 0.47 percent to 6,542.44 points, but the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.46 percent to 4,327.91 points and the Dax 30 in Frankfurt added 0.21 percent to 9,296.12 points. European markets had fallen sharply in morning trade, following Asian markets and Wall Street overnight after US Federal Reserve Chairman spooked investors Wednesday by saying the central bank could begin rising interest rates from record lows about six months after ending its stimulus programme. With the stimulus likely to wrap up by year's end, Yellen's comments suggest a hike to the Fed's main interest rate in early 2015. Expectations had been for an increase late next year. Wall Street tumbled to a lower finish in reaction on Wednesday, while Asian stock markets ended with large falls on Thursday. US stocks continued falling in early trade on Thursday, but rebounded after a series of economic data came in better than expected. "UK and European markets spent most of the day bogged down in US interest rate concerns only to follow US markets higher after the Philadelphia Fed Index came in at 9 months highs with a sign that US business sentiment is improving," said analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets UK. In midday trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.71 percent to 16,336.87 points. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.55 percent to 1,871.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.41 percent to 4,325.20. In foreign exchange trade Thursday, the euro fell further to hit $1.3787, compared with $1.3827 late on Wednesday in New York. The dollar edged up to 102.42 yen from 102.32. The pound rose to 1.1978 euros from 1.1953, but slid to $1.6516 from $1.6541. On the London Bullion Market meanwhile, the price of gold fell to $1,327.00 an ounce from $1,338 on Wednesday. "The US dollar has been supported by the less dovish than expected outlook for Fed policy," said Lee Hardman, analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. - Mulberry higher as CEO quits - On the corporate front, shares in Mulberry climbed 5.3 percent to 670 pence after the British luxury handbag maker announced the departure of its chief executive, Frenchman Bruno Guillon, with immediate effect after two years at the helm. The company did not give a reason for the departure but it follows a profit warning from Mulberry in January amid slowing sales in Britain and key market South Korea, sparking a collapse of its share price at the time. Mulberry said that Godfrey Davis, non-executive chairman and previously chief executive of the company, will become executive chairman until a successor is found. In Paris, shares in Hermes dropped 0.25 percent to 236.90 euros despite the company bucking the slowdown hitting many luxury goods makers by posting a record net profit of 790 million euros. However the maker of Kelly and Birkin bags said it expects a slowdown in profit growth this year, primarily due to a strong yen. The company makes 45 percent of its sales in Asia, with Japan its largest foreign market. Deutsche Bank was meanwhile down 0.32 percent to 32.55 euros after revising down its 2013 earnings to reflect the recent settlement of a long-running legal dispute. Germany's biggest bank said in a statement that net profit amounted to 681 million euros in 2013, rather than the 1.08 billion euros originally reported in January. In a long and bitter legal battle dating back to 2002, media tycoon Leo Kirch, who died in 2011 at the age of 84, had been suing Deutsche Bank for more than 3.0 billion euros. Elsewhere, Munich Re stock gained 1.30 percent to 152.45 euros after the German reinsurance giant said it plans to buy back up to 1.0 billion euros worth of shares by 2015.