LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - European shares hit a session low in afternoon trading on Thursday after data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000 for the week ended Sept. 6, the highest level since late June.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shared was down 0.5 percent at 1,379.30 points after falling as much as 1,389.18, the day's low.
Investors are closely watching data gauging the strength of the U.S. economic recovery ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting next week, looking for clues on the timing of the first U.S. interest-rate hike in more than eight years.
"The numbers are slightly disappointing and the market reaction suggests that investors are little nervous ahead of the Federal Reserver's next meeting," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Lionel Laurent)