Economic data on Wednesday were mostly positive.
In Europe, the UK economy was confirmed to have shrunk 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2012 but economic sentiment in the euro area has been improving. The European Commission's economic sentiment indicator rose for a fourth straight month to 91.1 in February from 89.5 in January.
Meanwhile, Italy managed to sell the maximum planned amount of 4 billion euros of 10-year bonds on Wednesday despite the political uncertainty following its latest election. However, the bonds were sold at a yield of 4.83 percent, the highest in four months.
In the US, a report on Wednesday showed that durable goods orders excluding transportation equipment rose 1.9 percent in January, the biggest gain since December 2011. Capital goods orders excluding defense and aircraft jumped 6.3 percent in January, also the most since December 2011.
Total orders for durable goods plunged 5.2 percent in January though. The total was pulled down by a 63.8 percent slump in orders for defense aircraft and parts following a 58.5 percent surge the prior month.
Another report from the US on Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors showed that its pending home sales index rose 4.5 percent to 105.9 in January, the highest level since April 2010.