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US data hoists European shares to five-year high

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European Central Bank president Mario Draghi

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi

EUROPEAN shares rose to a new five-year closing high on Friday as robust U.S. jobs data spurred on investors already heartened by the central bank stimulus that has supported equities over other assets.

Cyclical auto and mining stocks , so-called as they are geared to the economic cycle, were the best performers, rising more than 3pc, after the data which showed U.S. April non-farm payrolls rose by 165,000, ahead of the forecast 145,000.

"Good job numbers in the U.S. which have been taken well... For now it is hard to see what can stop this market," said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million in assets.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally ended up 0.9pc at 1,217.51, its highest close since June 2008, leading to a 1.8pc gain over the course of a week in which the European Central Bank cut interest rates in a fresh attempt to stimulate the economy.

ECB President Mario Draghi also said the ECB would help boost SME lending from banks.

In a sign of improving investor appetite for equities, the Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index sank 6pc on Friday.

Reuters