By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – European shares climbed on Thursday as encouraging economic data from across the globe and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine lifted sentiment ahead of the crucial U.S. jobs data.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> rose 1.2% to mark its fourth consecutive day of gains. Banks <.SX7P>, automakers <.SXAP> and travel & leisure <.SXTP> firms were the top gainers, jumping between 2.7% and 3.4%.
Financial markets entered the second half of the year on a cheerful note earlier this week, as business surveys showed a coronavirus-induced slump in global manufacturing eased in June.
Adding to optimism, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by German biotech firm BioNTech <BNTX.O> and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer <PFE.N> was found to be well-tolerated in early stage human trials.
All eyes are on the U.S. payrolls data, due at 1230 pm GMT. Economists have estimated that job numbers rose by 3 million in June,