European Markets Tick Higher

European stocks edged up Thursday, with Alstom SA shares higher on developments surrounding a potential bid for its energy assets, but a downgrade weighed on shares of miner Anglo American PLC.

The Stoxx Europe 600 picked up 0.1% to 348.17, the modest move coming after Wednesday's decline pulled the index from its highest closing level since January 2008, reached Tuesday.

Among the strongest advancers Thursday was Ocado Group PLC , with a 2.1% rise after J.P. Morgan initiated coverage of the British online grocer with an overweight rating.

Alstom shares tacked on 1.2% on news German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG is expected to decide by Monday whether to bid for the French company's energy assets. Siemens said Wednesday it will work with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to consider a potential pitch for the Alstom unit.

Meanwhile, the French government is discussing with General Electric Co. (GE) about the U.S. company improving its offer for the Alstom business, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

But coming under pressure on Thursday was Anglo American PLC , falling 3.7% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the miner to an underweight rating from equal weight. Anglo American led losses on the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index , which gave up 0.1% at 6,830.79.

On other indexes, Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.1% to 9,956.42, and France's CAC 40 rose 0.2% to 4,565.15. Technical issues delayed the opening of trade in France by 30 minutes on Thursday.