LONDON Nov 29 European shares extended gains to hit an intraday high on Thursday, getting a fresh boost from stronger-than-expected U.S. housing data.
Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose more than expected in October, a sign the housing market recovery advanced into the fourth quarter despite a mammoth storm and concerns over looming tax hikes.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up by more than 1 percent to 1,120.68 points in early afternoon trade, a fresh intraday high. The index later edged back to trade up by 0.9 percent at 1,119.25 points by 1508 GMT.
The STOXX 600 European basic resources sector, which includes mining stocks, was the top-performing European equity sector as it rose by 2.2 percent, while the STOXX 600 European bank sector rose by 1.5 percent.