U.S. data hoists European shares to 5-year high

LONDON Fri May 3, 2013 11:37am EDT

LONDON May 3 (Reuters) - European shares rose to a new five-year closing high on Friday as robust U.S. jobs data spurred on investors already heartened by the central bank stimulus that has supported equities over other assets.

Cyclical auto and mining stocks , so-called as they are geared to the economic cycle, were the best performers, rising more than 3 percent, after the data which showed U.S. April non-farm payrolls rose by 165,000, ahead of the forecast 145,000.

"Good job numbers in the U.S. which have been taken well... For now it is hard to see what can stop this market," said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million in assets.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally ended up 0.9 percent at 1,217.51, its highest close since June 2008, leading to a 1.8 percent gain over the course of a week in which the European Central Bank cut interest rates in a fresh attempt to stimulate the economy.

In a sign of improving investor appetite for equities, the Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index sank 6 percent on Friday.

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