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Pharmas Push European Shares to Close Higher

European shares ended in positive territory on Thursday, driven higher by pharmaceuticals after a broker upgrade of the sector, while flat commodity prices weighed on shares of mining and energy companies.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed unofficially at 1,453.58 points, up 0.7 percent. The index fell by 2.5 percent on Wednesday, in its biggest daily fall since credit markets seized up three months ago.

"We are due for a respite from this selling, we are due for a rebound and I sort of feel that with a bit of luck and a good wind, we could actually rebound a little bit more," said Brewin Dolphin chief strategist Mike Lenhoff.

Trading was light on Thursday, with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Traded volume on the FTSEurofirst 300 was two-thirds that traded on Wednesday.

In other European markets, London's FTSE-100 index rose 1.3 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.6 percent and Paris' CAC-40 rose 0.7 percent.