Economic data on Wednesday were mostly positive.
In the US, durable goods orders rose 1.1 percent in May. A measure of business investment, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, rose 1.6 percent.
And in an indication that the housing market recovery remains intact, the National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday that pending home sales rebounded 5.9 percent in May after having fallen 5.5 percent in April.
UK housing data on Wednesday disappointed though, with mortgage approvals falling to their lowest level in over a year in May. However, UK retail sales did well in June, with the Confederation of British Industry's distributive trades survey sales balance jumping to +42 in June, its highest since December 2010 from +21 in May.
In the euro area, Italy's confidence index for the manufacturing sector improved to 88.9 in June from 86.6 in May while German inflation eased to 1.7 in June from 1.9 percent in May.
However, the eurozone's debt crisis continues to simmer, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel again showing little enthusiasm for the quick-fix solutions being proposed by other countries.
Indeed, Zero Hedge quotes Ray Dalio of Bridgewater as saying that the “German-French alliance is breaking down in favor of contributor (higher rated credit) countries aligning against recipient (lower rated credit) countries” and under such circumstances, “there are good reasons to doubt that European bank and sovereign deleveragings will be prevented from progressing to the next stage in a disorderly way, without a Plan B in place”.