Economic data on Thursday were mixed.
In China, HSBC's preliminary manufacturing PMI for August fell to 47.8 from 49.3 in July.
Markit's composite index for the euro area did rise to 46.6 in August from 46.5 in July but remained below the neutral 50 mark. The manufacturing PMI rose to 45.3 from 44.0 but the services index fell to 47.5 from 47.9.
Adding to the weak picture for the euro area was another report on Thursday showing that the consumer confidence indicator fell to -24.6 in August from -21.5 in July.
The picture was somewhat better in the US.
Markit's flash US manufacturing PMI for August rose to 51.9 from 51.4 in July.
Meanwhile, US housing showed further signs of recovery. New home sales rebounded 3.6 percent in July to a 372,000 annual pace, matching the May rate that had been the highest since April 2010. Another report showed that house prices rose 1.8 percent in the second quarter.