German data helps Europe shares extend 2-week rally
(Updates with closing levels)
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, back at late July levels
* Forecast-beating German PMI eclipses recent soft patch
* Raiffeisen Bank jumps on reassuring comments on Russia
* Miners knocked lower by Chinese macro data
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - European stocks ended higher on Thursday, extending their sharp two-week rebound after better-than-expected German private sector growth figures which reassured investors about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy following a soft patch.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.7 percent higher at 1,355.09 points, reaching a level not seen since late July.
Markit's flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Germany -- which tracks growth in the manufacturing and service sectors that make up more than two-thirds of the economy -- came at 54.9 for August, down from 55.7 in July but still well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Continuación...