The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index, or VSTOXX, Europe's widely-used measure of investor risk aversion, hit a 5-year low on Thursday morning, a strong signal of investors' growing appetite for equities.

The VSTOXX, which measures the cost to protect stock holdings against potential pull-backs as it usually moves in an opposite direction to equities, was down 1.3 percent at 17.04, a level not seen since December 2007, at the very beginning of the financial crisis. - Reuters