After U.S. non-farm payrolls data beat expectations, European shares surged past a resistance level to raise optimism that the world's largest economy was on track for a recovery.
Prospects for stronger economic growth that could feed through into company earnings were boosted by a near three-year low drop in the unemployment rate and the U.S. non-farm payrolls rising to at their fastest pace in nine months.
"The (job data) numbers are phenomenal, you would have thought December would have been a seasonal blip, but obviously not," said Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital.
"It shows the world's biggest economy is on track and as a result of this, we could see consumer spending continuing to improve and that could mean the prospects for equities improving as well."
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was up 1.1 percent by 1406 GMT at 1,071.42 points after being as low as 1,056.55. The index broke past its 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level at 1,062.24 points in a bullish move from its February 2011 high to September 2011 low, which had been a major resistance level.