European stock markets rose on Thursday as traders focused on the Greek debt saga and outlook for interest rates on both sides of the Atlantic.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.63 percent to trade at 6,981.00 points approaching midday in the capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 grew 0.36 percent to 12,078 points and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.78 percent to 5,177.00 points compared with Wednesday's close.
In foreign exchange, the European single currency fell to $1.0743 from $1.0780 late in New York on Wednesday.
"Athens has vowed to repay the IMF today and the market is optimistic the agreement will be honoured," said David Madden, market analyst at IG trading group.
Greece on Thursday made a 459-million-euro ($497-million) loan payment to the International Monetary Fund, an official said, with the country's precarious finances having been closely monitored since the arrival of a new hard-left government in January.
The new government is engaged in difficult negotiations to renegotiate the terms of its EU-IMF bailout, and as a result has received no money left in the multi-billion loan package.
Later this month, Athens has to make interest payments of nearly 400 million euros and roll over 2.4 billion euros in six- and three-month treasury bills due to mature on April 14 and 17.
Athens on Wednesday raised 1.14 billion euros in six-month treasury bills. On Thursday it announced the sale of another 625 million euros in three-month bills next week.
Attention among traders Thursday was also on the Federal Reserve.
Minutes of the US central bank's last policy meeting released late in New York on Wednesday showed a split over when interest rates should again start rising in the world's biggest economy.
According to the minutes of the March 17-18 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, "several participants" thought conditions were right for a June hike in the federal funds rate, stuck near zero since late 2008.
Others deemed the economy would not be able to weather a hike until later in the year, while "a couple" said liftoff would remain unlikely until 2016.
The Bank of England was meanwhile Thursday expected to keep its main interest rate at 0.50 percent following its last monetary policy meeting before Britain's general election on May 7.
"The Bank of England, like its US counterpart, is also weighing up the timing of its first rate hike (in years), although it appears to be a little behind at the moment despite the strength of the (British) economy as the country flirts with deflation," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.