LONDON Oct 24 European shares bounced back towards five-year highs in early trading on Thursday, with a survey showing a pick-up in manufacturing activity in China cheering investors.
European miners gained 0.6 percent to feature among the top gainers after the flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index for China, the world's top metals consumer, rose to a seven-month high of 50.9 in October, above September's final reading of 50.2.
At 0702 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 percent at 1,283.05 points, moving back towards this week's five-year highs after falling 0.6 percent in the previous session.
After positive China manufacturing data, investors' focus will shift to German flash manufacturing PMI at 0728 GMT, which is expected to rise to 51.5 in October from 51.1 in the previous month. The euro zone's PMI numbers, due at 0758 GMT, are seen up to 51.4 this month from 51.1.
Norway's largest bank DNB, up 4 percent, was the top gainer on the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after reporting higher than expected net profits for the third quarter
Ericsson fell 5.6 percent, the top decliner, after the mobile telecom gear maker posted third-quarter operating profit below expectations and said sales were under pressure.