Another report from the US showed that pending home sales fell 8.7 percent in December. However, this was partly attributed to bad weather.
Elsewhere, the European Commission reported on Thursday that its economic sentiment indicator for the euro area rose to 100.9 in January, the highest reading since July 2011, from 100.4 in December.
In Japan, a report on Thursday showed that the Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI rose to 56.6 in January, the highest level since February 2006, from 55.2 in December.
In contrast, Chinese manufacturing contracted for the first time in six months in January, according to HSBC's manufacturing PMI, which fell to 49.5 this month.