Economic reports on Thursday were mostly negative.
In the euro area, the European Commission's economic sentiment indicator fell to 92.8 in April from 94.5 in March while Standard & Poor's cut Spain's sovereign credit rating to BBB+ from A.
In the US, pending home sales rose 4.1 percent in March but the Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to –0.29 in March from +0.07 in February. Among April data, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey's composite index fell to 3 this month from 9 in March while initial jobless claims fell to 388,000 in the week ended 21 April, 1,000 fewer than in the previous week, which had been the highest since the first week of January.
Investors were unperturbed by the weak data though. The S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent on Thursday while the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.1 percent.