UK stocks : FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct
An above-forecast reading on the U.S. manufacturing sector from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), coupled with upward revisions to the previous two months' non-farm payrolls offered more proof of recovery in the world's biggest economy.
That helped equities build on earlier gains after purchasing managers' indexes pointed to stabilisation in the euro zone and a mild recovery in China.
"Overall, it's been a strong set of data today," said Derry Pickford, strategist at Ashburton. "The equity market rebounded quite strongly once they saw the (payrolls) revisions data."
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,168.08 points, clawing back some of the retreat suffered in the previous two sessions and edging towards a 2-year peak of 1,178.55 set earlier in the week.
The EuroSTOXX 50 gauge of euro zone blue chips added 0.3 percent to 2,710.08 points after finding technical support at the 30-day moving average just below 2,670 points.
"Given the trauma that equities have been through in the last few months, people want things to be positive. There are hurdles ahead but people are just willing the markets to do really well," said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge.
"There is a gradual trend upwards and I don't see that stopping at the moment."
"Given the trauma that equities have been through in the last
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