* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, bounces back
* Stocks add to gains after better-than-expected U.S. jobs
* German market closed for holiday
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - European stocks regained some poise on Friday after the previous session’s sharp sell-off, led by shares of easyJet rising after the airline lifted its earnings forecasts.
The market extended its gains in afternoon trading, boosted by better-than-expected U.S. job data, which showed U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 248,000 last month and the jobless rate fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest since July 2008.
“These are pretty strong figures, especially the unemployment rate,” Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni said.
“It’s tempting to see this as ‘the glass half-full’: good news for the economy means good news for the market. But investors seem cautious because ultimately it could raise the chances to see the Fed raising rates earlier than what the market currently expects.”
Banking shares featured among the top gainers, with Italy’s Intesa SanPaolo up 2 percent and Spain’s Bankinter up 1.6 percent.
The STOXX 600 euro zone banking index had tumbled 4 percent on Thursday, dropping after the European Central Bank gave no new hints over the prospect of an imminent sovereign bond buying programme, leading some in the market to scale back bets on this happening.
Investors were also rattled by the lack of specific details about the ECB’s plan to buy asset-backed securities (ABS).
“Market participants are disappointed. There are still a lot of question marks on the ECB’s action plan,” said Judith Danan, head of sales trading at CMC Markets France.
“Beyond the T-LTROs (targeted longer-term refinancing operations) and the plan to buy ABS, the central bank doesn’t really seem ready to launch a quantitative easing programme, at least not in the short term.”
At 1257 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.7 percent at 1,344.72 points, after dropping 2.4 percent on Thursday.
Despite the day’s gain, the index is set to post a loss of 2.4 percent for the week, which would be its biggest weekly loss since early August.
Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index was up 1 percent, France’s CAC 40 up 0.6 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 0.7 percent. The German market was closed for a public holiday.
Shares in easyJet surged 6.6 percent after the group increased its earnings target.
Shares in Tesco fell 3.5 percent, as traders cited market speculation the struggling UK retailer could launch a rights issue. A spokesman for the firm said on Friday it “has no current plans” for a capital hike.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa in London; Editing by Toby Chopra)