European stock markets rose on Thursday and the euro recovered from an eight-month low as figures pointed to an uptick in growth in Europe and China.
Robust manufacturing data in China, the world's second-largest economy, and a strong eurozone purchasing managers' index (PMI) helped dampen concerns about EU sanctions against Russia.
Frankfurt's main DAX index traded up 0.42 percent to 9,794.06 points, compared to Wednesday's closing values.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.34 percent to 6,821.46 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 finished the day up 0.78 percent at 4,410.65.
"Eurozone growth rebounded in July," the private Markit research group, which published the eurozone PMI data, said while warning that the crisis in Ukraine could cloud the bloc's outlook.
Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said the latest figures suggested that the eurozone economy was growing "at one of the strongest rates we have seen in the past three years".
Madrid's IBEX 35 index also surged to close up 1.89 percent after official data showed unemployment in Spain fell sharply in the second quarter -- slipping beneath 25 percent.
"Spanish jobs are moving in the right direction but the rate of change is too slow. At this pace Spain's economy will still be in the doldrums for the next five years," said Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
HSBC meanwhile said its preliminary PMI of Chinese manufacturing activity for this month jumped to 52.0 from 50.7 in June. Anything above 50 indicates growth.
Wall Street rode the optimistic wave, with the S&P 500 topping its record close on Wednesday, helped as well by more good corporate earnings reports, especially from tech giant Facebook.
By early afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had edged up 0.11 percent to 17,104.74, while the S&P 500 gained 0.19 percent to 1,990.72.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.22 percent to 4,483.56.
In European equities, Nokia shares climbed 7.26 percent after the Finnish telecom equipment group jumped back into profit in the second quarter, boosted by restructuring.
In Paris, shares in energy engineering group Technip plunged 8.66 percent after it predicted profits at its onshore/offshore division would be hit by political risks at its Yamal gas project in the Russian Arctic.
Market research group Ipsos dived 21.57 percent to 21.76 euros after a profit warning due to setbacks in the Americas, in part because companies had delayed research because of the World Cup.
- Euro rallies from lows -
In Brussels, meanwhile, a European Union source said the bloc will add to its sanctions list 15 Ukrainian and Russian people and 18 entities over their role in the Ukraine crisis.
They are also mulling moving beyond current visa bans and asset freezes, under pressure to do more after the alleged shooting down of flight MH17 by rebels using a Russian-made missile.
EU moves against Moscow have hit the euro in recent days, resulting in it falling to multi-month low points.
On Thursday, the European single currency hit a new eight-month low against the dollar at $1.3438. It later recovered to $1.3467, compared with $1.3462 late in New York on Wednesday.
The euro rose to 79.31 British pence from 78.99 on Wednesday. The pound dropped to $1.6979 from $1.7040.
The price of gold slid to $1,292.75 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,308 on Wednesday.
In London, gains to banking shares and for miners helped to offset heavy falls to home improvements firm Kingfisher and no-frills airline EasyJet.
Kingfisher shed 8.18 percent to 308.50 pence after revealing poor trading figures for France, while Easyjet lost 4.99 percent to 1,333 pence as its forecast for higher annual profits came in below market expectations.
"Despite having issued its second profit upgrade this year, EasyJet has undershot market expectations for the latest number, with the result that the shares have come under pressure," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.