LONDON Nov 22 European shares advanced for a fourth straight session to touch a one-week high on Thursday, with encouraging data from China, showing further signs of recovery in the world's second-biggest economy, boosting sentiment.
The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which largely reflects the private manufacturing sector, hit a 13-month high of 50.4 in November. It followed data on Wednesday showing U.S. manufacturing picked up at its quickest pace in five months in November.
"There have been a lot of concerns regarding the outlook for global growth. In this context, any improvement in Chinese data is welcome, given that investors are still risk averse, which is reflected in valuations," Robert Parkes, equity strategist, HSBC Securities.
"It also highlights that there are risks in having a purely defensive portfolio at this point in time."
At 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,100.16 points after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session.
Sectors more sensitive to economic growth were among the top gainers, with autos rising 0.6 percent and miners up 0.5 percent.
SABMiller, the world's second-biggest brewer, rose 4.7 percent after posting a 12 percent rise in first half profit.