European shares and bonds held on to recent gains on Thursday while gold and the euro gained, after data suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve may have to leave its stimulus programme in place for a little longer.

European shares on the FTSEurofirst 300 opened flat after a 3.2 percent jump in the previous two days, while the bonds of governments from Germany to Greece continued to claw back ground lost last week.

The market tone improved overnight after a surprisingly sharp downward revision to first-quarter U.S. economic growth, which calmed fears the Fed would soon wind down the huge bond-buying scheme that has underpinned investors' risk appetite.

"Whenever there is good news out of the U.S. it will cause selling because people see it as a confirmation for Fed tapering, while if we have something more disappointing like yesterday people will say, 'Well OK, it won't happen yet'," said Tobias Blattner, an economist at Daiwa Securities.

"That, unfortunately, is the kind of volatility that is going to continue for the next couple of months."

The European Commission's monthly survey of business and consumer confidence is also due later alongside data from the ECB which will show whether there are any signs yet of a pickup in long-depressed euro zone bank lending.

The euro was off Wednesday's three-week low against the dollar at $1.3024 after the weaker U.S. data had put pressure on the greenback. ECB policymakers have been out in force in recent days saying that unlike the Fed, they remain ready to cut rates if needed.

Gold rose 1 percent to $1,237 an ounce after tumbling 12 percent over the past 8 sessions.