European shares at 7-year highs ahead of U.S. jobs

viernes 6 de marzo de 2015 08:03 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, hits fresh 7-year high

* Release of U.S. payroll data likely delayed due to snow

* Thomas Cook up 19 pct after China's Fosun buys stake

* $35 bln poured into Europe stocks, bonds since QE unveiled

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 6 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, extending a rally which has propelled regional indexes to seven-year highs, with Thomas Cook jumping after a Chinese investor bought a stake in the travel group.

China's Fosun International, which recently took over France's Club Mediterranee, acquired a 5 percent stake in the British firm and said it would seek to double it to 10 percent, sending Thomas Cook's shares up 19 percent.

Investors awaited U.S. monthly jobs figures. February non-farm payrolls data is forecast to show a 240,000 rise, down from a 257,000 gain in January. It would mark the 12th straight month of increases above 200,000, the longest such run since 1994.

"There is still a debate raging over whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates at mid-year or later. So from that point of view, stronger employment data could be seen to favour a June rate hike," said Edmund Shing, global equity fund manager at BCS Asset Management.   Continuación...