European shares extend gains after U.S. data

LONDON Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:42am EST

LONDON Jan 17 (Reuters) - European shares extended gains on Thursday afternoon after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data sent a hopeful sign for the world's largest economy.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled to a five-year low last week, the Labor Department said. It was the largest weekly drop since February 2010.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European shares added to gains after the data was published to trade 0.4 percent higher at 1,164.60 at 1340 GMT.