European economic indicators continued to support the view of bustling activity and confidence from the region's businesses in July, with economic sentiment hitting a fresh decade high.
Meanwhile, growth data from some of the region's largest economies were also impressive, with Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) putting in its best performance in three years.
Eurozone economic sentiment
The European Commission's measure of economic confidence advanced on June's 10-year high, edging up to 111.2 in July, from 111.1 in the previous month, and beating forecasts of 110.8.
Sentiment in the eurozone has been running high in recent months according to purchasing manager indexes (PMI). PMI survey data in both manufacturing and services have shown high levels of confidence among the region's businesses.
Eurozone PMIs earlier this week indicated strong new order growth, rising employment, increased backlogs and lead times from suppliers.
"These are symptoms of a booming rather than an ailing economy," said Chris Williamson at IHS Market.
Services sentiment and business climate
Confidence in the services sectors was also rising in July, according to the European Commission survey.
Its index of sentiment in the services industries rose to 14.1 in July from 13.3 in June. Stagnation in July's services PMI may have been responsible for analysts forecasting a dip in services sentiment to 13.2.
The business climate index, however, was not so impressive, dipping to 1.05 in July from 1.16 in June.
Spain and Austria
The survey data tallied well with the latest growth data from two core eurozone economies: Spain and Austria.
Spain's economy – the eurozone's fourth largest – expanded by 0.9% in the second quarter, up from a quarterly growth rate of 0.8% in the first three months. Analysts had expected a repeat of the first quarter growth rate.
This put annualised growth in the April-June quarter at a firmly robust 3.1%, up from 3% in June.
Austria also put in a robust quarterly performance, with GDP rising at 0.8% quarter on quarter, matching the pace of the first three months.
The data sent the euro higher. The single currency climbed 0.3% against the dollar to $1.1708, and gained 0.2% versus the pound to €1.1170.
Stock markets, however, failed to see the positives in the data and were, perhaps, more perturbed by the gains and ongoing strength of the euro.
By midday in London, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 1.1%. In France, the CAC 40 fell 1.4% to 5,114, while the German Dax lost 0.8% to 12,115.