Europe shares extend rebound as U.S. data reassures
PARIS, June 27 (Reuters) - European shares ended higher on Thursday in the wake of upbeat U.S. macro data which further eased worries over whether the world's biggest economy could withstand the winding down of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus.
Also lifting the mood, William Dudley, head of the New York Federal Reserve, said the Fed's asset purchases would be more aggressive than the timeline Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined last week if growth and the labor market turn out weaker than expected.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed 0.8 percent higher at 1,158.97 points, rallying for the third straight day.
The index, still down nearly 8 percent since late May, managed to cross back above a major resistance level representing the index's 200-day moving average, sending a positive technical signal.
Data showed on Thursday U.S. consumer spending rebounded in May, while jobless claims fell last week, fuelling expectations economic growth is picking up pace.
"We're getting signs that U.S. economic growth is gaining traction, the lights are turning green, especially on the consumer side," David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities, said.
"Europe is also slowly turning the corner. All in all, this might be the beginning of the end of the five-year crisis, which means it's time to buy stocks for the long term."
Thursday's rally was broad-based, led by shares of big pharma and media companies, which have a strong exposure to the U.S. economy. Roche added 3.4 percent and Publicis gained 3.2 percent.